No parent would argue against the fact that having children is not cheap. Apart from clothes and feeding them, there are school trips to consider, school uniforms and supplies and family days out and holidays.
Then their birthdays come around once a year, as does Christmas, Easter and Halloween. All of these things mean laying our money down, and when you have several children, it can get very expensive. You may be lucky enough for money not to be a problem, but there are more families that have to manage their finances than rich ones.
Here are just a few tips to help if you are on a tight budget but do not want your children to lose out.
One of the oldest tips when it comes to shopping is not to do it while you are hungry. That is very true. You will pile more foods in your cupboards if you have an empty tummy when buying your family’s food.
If you need some quick and easy meals for the week, make your own and freeze them. Ready meals bought in the supermarkets are not only expensive, but they also contain high amounts of sugar and salt as well as preservatives. These things are no good for the health of your children or you.
You could have a cooking session with the kids and make things like lasagne, shepherd pie, spaghetti bolognaise and even roast dinners. They will all freeze and can be easily cooked if you are in a rush one evening.
Have less meat in the family diet and you may be surprised by how much your shopping bill drops. Meat is one of the more expensive items that goes in our shopping trolley. Look out for special deals but don’t fall for the buy one, get one free ploy unless it is an item you will use. It is wasteful to buy something because it is cheap and then for it just to sit in the fridge or be thrown out because its use-by date has passed.
It may be necessary to be a two-car family. If your other half needs a car to get to and from work and you need one to ferry the kids about, it could be unavoidable. If that is the case, you need to keep the running costs as low as possible. Look at some of the overheads associated with your vehicle such as insurance, then get a car insurance quote from Quotezone. They will be able to find you the best deals with some of the most reputable insurance companies around.
Don’t use the car for short trips. Not only will this save you money, but walking will help to keep you fit. This is especially good if you are feeling a bit low. When you exercise, the body releases chemicals called endorphins and these send feel-good messages to the brain. It will be good for your children too.
Cut Your Power Bills
It is very easy to lower your energy bills as most families are wasteful without realising it. For instance, every item such as a TV or computer that is put to sleep instead of being completely turned off costs about 50p a week extra. Just add up how many of these things you have in your house and you could easily find this practice is costing you several pounds every week. Multiply that figure by 52 weeks of the year and you will be astonished by how much energy your family is wasting in that one way alone.
Turn gadgets off, turn lights off and only have heating and hot water turned on when you need it. You should also look at the deal with your suppliers. There are often better ones around, especially if yours is two or three years old. Find a better deal and let your existing supplier know. Often, they will match it because they do not like to lose customers.
Involve the Whole Family
Have a get together with all the family members and discuss how you could save some money. There are sometimes things that you have not thought of cutting down on that other family members will happily do without. Point out that if savings could be made, a family holiday is possible, and you may be surprised by how enthusiastic the children will get about making savings.
Earn Some Extra Cash
There are many ways to earn some extra cash that need not interfere with your family commitments. You could complete online surveys or offer your services as a freelance social media management consultant, a bookkeeper or a web designer, among other things. These types of work can all be done when the children are in bed or at school. None of them will make you rich, but the extra cash you earn could be very useful.
Managing a family’s finances is not always easy, but it is possible to plan treats and holidays if you take control of the money you are spending.