When you have young children, you may feel as though you are constantly spending money. Whether you are preparing delicious and healthy meals to keep them going throughout the day, getting together school supplies, or finding ways to keep them entertained – you might feel as though you are constantly reaching into your purse. With that in mind, you must find ways to save money when possible. Here are some top tips!
1: Set a Budget
If you don’t set yourself a weekly or monthly budget, it can be difficult to control exactly how much you are spending, and you will often spend more money than you intend to spend by accident. However, setting up a budget does not need to be difficult. At the start of the month, write down a list of everything you need to spend money on that month. This will include:
- Rent & Bills
- Food & Drink (Include costs of schools’ meals and snacks)
- School supplies
- Entertainment costs (trips out, after school clubs, etc.)
- Any additional costs that month (Birthdays etc)
Once you have figured out how much the above will cost you, set yourself a spending limit, and try to spend no more than that amount. If you spend less, you can carry it over into the next month and treat yourself a little. If you find it hard keeping track of your spending off the top of your head, you may benefit from downloading a budgeting app for your phone.
2: Meal Prep
Batch cooking is a great way to save money as a parent, especially as it allows you to prepare healthy meals ahead of time. If you’re working full time, this will be especially useful as you can simply reheat meals after a busy day as opposed to cooking from scratch. Plan on what kind of meal you want each week, and buy ingredients in bulk. Bulk buying ingredients, especially veggies, is much cheaper than buying them separately. Then, you can spend an afternoon preparing all of your meals for the week ahead – saving valuable time in the long run.
3: Find Fun Things To Do…for free.
Keeping your children entertained is a full-time job within itself, and can sometimes be expensive. However, whilst you must treat them to exciting trips such as to the movie theater now and then, not every activity has to be super expensive. Here are some great (free) activities that are fun for the whole family!
- Family-friendly home workouts
- Hiking/Exploring Nature
- At Home Movie Night
- Backyard Camping
- Hide and Seek
- Board Game Night
4: Make Use Of All Resources
Sometimes, getting to grips with your finances can be difficult. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources online, such as Pigly.com, which can help you build a better understanding of all of your finances – from mortgage payments to retirement funds and just about everything in between. Their services also include an online calculator that can help you figure out loan payments and returns on investments. However, the best thing about Pigly is that is completely free to use!
5: Don’t buy, Borrow!
There are plenty of places where you can borrow products as opposed to purchasing them outright, which can save you money in the long run. For example, registering at a local library is free of charge, and they have plenty of books, DVDs, and even games that you can take out at no extra cost. After all, we all know how quickly children grow tired of their newest toy. When you are borrowing an item, you can simply return as opposed to letting it grow dusty in the corner of their room. Furthermore, a library membership is a great way to get your child reading, which comes with a range of benefits for children of all ages.
6: Shop Second Hand
Second-hand stores often have a range of great products on offer, from stylish designer clothing to toys and even furniture. Therefore, whenever you are buying something new, you should always check out your local thrift store. Whilst you may be able to find hidden gems at a great cost year-round, they usually have excellent stock after the Christmas period in particular.
There are also plenty of online groups, such as those advertised on the Facebook marketplace, that allow you to buy items second hand from those in your local area. This is a great way of getting your hands on new items without breaking the bank – and also ensuring that nothing goes to waste. In addition to this, you can also sell your pre-loved items online too!
7: Only Buy What You Need
If you go grocery shopping when you are hungry, you’re likely to come out with bags upon bags of extra food that you saw as you were browsing. This will cost you extra money and sometimes the additional food will go to waste as you will bring home much more than you need or intend to use. With that in mind, whenever you go shopping, come with a list in hand that will stop you from buying more than you need, keeping you firmly within your budget.
8: Set Up A Rainy Day Fund
You should always have some money set aside in case of emergencies – this can include anything from your car breaking down to unexpected medical bills. You don’t want to land yourself in a tricky situation without having something to back you up – even if it is just a small amount of cash. One way in which you can do this is by putting a small amount of your paycheck into a separate bank account that you will not touch. You can also keep a jar in your kitchen where you put any loose bits of money you find in your pockets! You’ll likely be surprised by how much money you can collect by trying this and it can be used to cover ‘minor’ emergencies, such as covering travel fares if you have a breakdown.