Before kids we earned enough money to have extra to spend on frivolities or weekends away. But after we had children and I made the decision not to go back to work our finances decreased dramatically. Since then we have been working out the best ways to eke out our cash and here are our 5 money saving tips for families.
If you seriously need to reduce your monthly spend then cutting back is an obvious choice. Think about everything that you buy or are still paying for and make a decision as to whether it is necessary.
Do you need two cars? Or could you manage with just one? Is it necessary to buy new clothes every month/every season? Can you reduce the number of meals out?
Every family is different and some will be able to cut out things that others won’t. As much as I love it when I get to use the car, only having one car saves us a significant amount of money. Buying clothes is something we don’t do too often, but there are alternatives to buying new clothes often. Some people are happy buying off Ebay and others can find great bargains in charity shops, it all depends on what are you happy with.
You can’t expect to save money without a little planning. It doesn’t matter whether you planning the weeks food shop or a holiday, managing how you spend your money is important. Well, unless you have millions to throw around, but then you are unlikely to be reading this!
I spend a good hour each week writing our shopping list. Researching meals I can cook with the ingredients on hand so we don’t need to spend too much or waste food. This is particularly important as a parent as you know that your kid are going to waste food no matter how careful you are!
For holidays we like to research when the cheaper times are. I know that many people can’t book cheaper times as their kids are in school, but consider which other holiday destinations are cheaper at different times of year. Of course if you have young kids make the most of the term time holidays.
If you don’t want to cut back on spending in some areas of your life, then consider cheaper alternatives. Instead of the 5 star villa could you book a camping holiday with Eurocamp? Would you consider a pair of non branded shoes rather than Converse? Instead of the Champagne could you try Cava?
Even if you try something and decide it’s not for you, at least you have tried. You never know what you may actually be ok with until you try it.
If you are really struggling then there is always the possibility of borrowing money. We have previously borrowed money from family to help pay for the car without going on finance and paying extra on top of the monthly fees.
There is the other option of getting a loan, such as payday loans. Bad credit is often not issue with these type of loans, but make sure you check how much extra you will be paying on top of the money borrowed.
Not everything has to be bought! Especially when you come to the children, they are happy playing with a cardboard box that you made into a rough version of a plane or a boat.
You can make your own play dough, science experiments or bake with the children. Often these experiences are much more important to children than buying toys for them.
So, there you go. Our 5 money saving tips for families! I hope they are useful to you.
* This is a collaborative post.