It’s no secret that having a family is expensive. Naturally, everybody wants the best for their children and are therefore sometimes afraid to cut back on what they spend on necessities and treats alike. But what if you’re saving for the family vacation of a lifetime, a bigger car to fit in the whole family, or you’re finding yourself short at the end of the month after all of your outgoings and the rest are gone? Budgeting and saving doesn’t have to be to the detriment of family life, and with a few simple tips you can make a big difference.
Plan Your Day-to-Day Meals
It might sound like a rigid regime, but going off a weekly menu and planning your family meals in advance can save you not only money, but time. One of the biggest wastes of money is having food in the house, and because you’re busy or out and about, stopping by the Mcdonalds drive thru and letting the little ones have their way. It might be tasty, but it’s unhealthy and wasteful to your bank account. By making a menu and planning in advance, you eliminate the risk of the “what’s for dinner” argument and debate, because you’ll all already know. The menu doesn’t have to be the same each week, in fact you could actually make a family activity out of deciding what will be on the menu for the week ahead, and that way everybody gets a little bit of what they fancy! If you sit down the day before you do the weekly food shop and plan the weeks’ meals ahead, you’ll not only have a quicker and less stressful food shop, but you’ll also stop yourself from buying unnecessary bits and bobs on the “reduced” aisle, just because.
When You Shop, Shop Smart
Try not to make several trips to the supermarket a week – make sure you do it all in one go. If you have a regimented checklist of essentials and stick to it week in week out, it’s hard to go wrong. Furthermore, don’t stay shopping at the same supermarket just because it’s what you know, and you’ve been going there for years. Do your research online and find ouwhich supermarket does the best deals for what you’re buying and go there. If it means that you have to go to multiple stores for what you need, then consider doing that. It may sound daft, but the money you save in the long run when shopping smartly is incomparable.
Research the Bigger Picture Stuff in Depth
Of course, there’s absolutely no avoiding some of the more expensive things in life. Utility bills, the mortgage, and car insurance are to name but a few, but you can actually save a lot of money on these things, just by doing some online research and comparing prices.
For example, even if you were looking to sell your home to downsize or upsize, however didn’t want the masses of expenditure that comes from estate agent bills and valuations, there are alternatives to the traditional route that most take. Companies such as https://www.readysteadysell.co.uk/sell-house-fast/ cut out the middleman, and value and buy your home for cash. This is a much cheaper and more hassle-free way to sell your home and move on, and all it takes to find out more is a little bit of research. With access to smartphones and computers so readily available now, we really don’t have the excuse of not knowing that we could pay less for the services we require.
Give the Kids Some In Home Entertainment
Last but not least, remember that being on a budget doesn’t mean the kids can’t have fun, and that you can’t spend valuable and enjoyable time together as a family. Inevitably, the weekend comes around, and you’ll need something to do. If your kids love going to the cinema, why not let them take turns in choosing their favourite films, and transform your home into a cinema. Cook some pizzas, make some popcorn, turn out the lights and build a blanket fort, and you have the perfect family night in, at the movies!
Not forgetting about Mum and Dad too, have yourselves a budget date night. Once the kids are asleep in bed (or if you have some kind friends or relatives willing to watch them for a couple of hours), treat yourselves to a homemade candle lit meal and a bottle of wine.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be expensive to make it special.