Friday, 20 November 2015

4 Super Easy Ways Your Family Can Save Money

As a mummy to two young children, I know just how expensive raising kids can be. Feeding, clothing and entertaining your little ones, not to mention the costs of running a home, can be enough to bankrupt a family. That might seem a little dramatic but having moved into our first home this year, we've certainly noticed a difference!

Of course, as all parents know, if you are smart about how you spend then you can get by, even on a small income. To keep your finances in order while raising a family, budgeting and smart spending are both crucial.

family finances

I thought I would share a few of my favourite money-saving tips. Whether you are struggling with a small budget or just like to know you're saving some pennies, I'm sure you've heard the old saying - small changes can make a big difference.

1 - Use a budgeting app

Budgeting your money is never easy, and is even harder when you have a family to care for. There are always unexpected costs like nappies and baby milk, or yet another pair of shoes!
Using a budgeting app helps you to keep on top of your spending and its much easier than scribbling everything down in a notebook.

When it comes to choosing a budgeting app, there are plenty of fantastic free ones to choose from. Finding the perfect app for your budgeting needs can be a bit trial and error, but two of the easiest to use are Wally and BillGuard. Its worth checking them and seeing which is perfect for you.

2 - Be energy efficient

For many families one of the biggest bills each month is, of course, the energy bill. Pop your heaters on for a little too long and you can end up with a bill that’s double what you would normally pay. Energy costs for heating, lighting, and electronics, can be a nightmare. No one likes receiving a high energy bill.

Luckily, if we are smart about our family’s energy use, we can ensure that our energy bills are always budget-friendly. From turning down the thermostat by a couple of degrees and popping on a jumper to switching to using energy-saving led lights, we can keep our bills low.

3 - Plan meals in advance

The worst thing you can do when it comes to being budget-friendly is buy meals as and when you need them. As you’ll end up spending more this way. Or, in your panic to get dinner sorted, will end up splashing out on takeaway or expensive ready meals.

Its something I struggle with but its worth trying to plan your meals in advance and buy what you need for them during your weekly shop. If you struggle to shop with the kids because they constantly pester you for this, that and the other, start shopping online. Not only is this quicker and easier than a trip to the supermarket, but you won’t be tempted to splurge on items that you don’t need.

4 - Don’t be afraid to shop second-hand

Seriously. Kids grow extremely fast, so it’s senseless spending hundreds of pounds on clothes and shoes for them. As, within a few months, they’ll have outgrown them. To save money on your children’s wardrobes, consider buying their bits and bobs second-hand. I know some people will turn their nose up at this idea but is it any different to passing things on through friends?

For kids clothes, eBay is a fantastic resource, as are local mum’s groups. You’ll find that most social media sites like Facebook, have local mum’s groups that often have cheap children’s clothes. Instead of splashing out on new clothes, buy some of your kids' items second-hand. You’ll save money, and being so young, they won’t even realise. Not only that but many of them will still be in great condition so it may be that only you know they are second hand!

Budgeting can be daunting and when you have kids to look after and a home to run it can sometimes seem impossible. But if you're smart about it and put a bit of effort into it, it isn't. 

Budgeting when you have kids to look after and a home to run can sometimes seem impossible. However, if you’re smart about it, it’s not. Try some of the tips above for a more financially stable family lifestyle.

* Contributed post
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