Money, Money, Money: Savvy Savings When Raising a Family
Right now it is a pretty interesting time when it comes to money, finances, and the economy; interesting can certainly be a way to describe it. Interest rates are low, inflation is pretty high, and house prices are rocketing. The same as rental prices too; they keep rising but wages aren’t going up in the same way.
So when this is the case, you might find, like many modern families, that you are living paycheck to paycheck to get by. Being able to save in some small ways can have a big impact, particularly if you are counting the pennies.
So with that in mind, here are several ways that you can save on the costs of raising a family, so that you can pocket the savings to clear off debt or to save for something you all want; is there anything else that you would add to the list?
You might think that seeing what groceries people buy and what they are planning to eat can be pretty dull. But in fact, they are some of the most popular videos on YouTube (we recently filmed an Aldi haul, for instance). Not only can they help with the old YouTube views, but they can be a great way to save money. The best thing to do is to check your fridge and cupboards before you go to the shop, and plan your meals around what you already have in. You might have staples like rice in, for example, but need some chicken and sauce from the shop. That is going to save you more money than planning a recipe where you need to buy all of the ingredients at once. So take time to plan and it will save you money in the long run (batch cooking your meals can help too).
If you want to save when you shop, then shopping online can be a good idea, as you won’t get distracted by thing that are in the shop that you don’t need. If you prefer going to a shop then discount supermarkets can save you quite a lot compared to the more middle-class supermarkets. There are also a few hacks to help you save, such as:
- Buying frozen fruit and veggies for meals and smoothies; they are much cheaper than fresh, but still have all of the goodness in them.
- Shop at night to get some good yellow-stick reduced items. You do have to time it just right, though.
- Know your use by dates. Some things are going to be fine to be consumed after a few days after the date, but some won’t be. Be savvy with the dates of the food that you choose so that you’re not wasting lots.
- If you shop online, you can compare the price of price of your shopping basket on a site like mySupermarket to see where the best place to shop for it will be (taking into account current deals).
- Buy fruit and vegetables loosely. A pack of bananas might be £1, for instance. But weigh out the same number of loose bananas and it will be less. A small saving but it will be worth doing.
With summer nearly over, the darker nights on the way, you are going to be using your lights much more. And if used a lot, your energy bills can really add up. So getting some energy-efficient light bulbs will be a good way to save. LED light bulbs are the best on the market, as they are the most energy-efficient and they also don’t compromise on the quality of the light that they give. So although an upfront cost to replace them, you will see the savings with your energy bills.
Just as you can compare grocery prices, you can also use sites like PetrolPrices to compare the cost of petrol and diesel near to where you are. The prices of petrol really can differentiate, so it is worth looking up where the cheapest place to buy from is.
On a similar note, it is a good idea to not fill your car with petrol, even if you have a road trip planned. A full tank will make your car less fuel-efficient, costing you more money over time. You will just have to plan some breaks, but with kids, you’re likely to be doing that anyway. Another thing to check is the tyre pressure of your tyres too. If they aren’t pumped up to the right amount, then it can make your car much less efficient too. So for the times that you need to be driving the car, you should at least make those trips the most fuel-efficient possible.
If you have a mortgage for your home, then it is likely to be your biggest expense each month. So unless you plan to pay off some of your mortgage early or move to a smaller and less expensive property, then looking for ways to reduce your mortgage payments is going to be a good way to have extra money each month. You could look at a refinance home loan where you shop around for a better deal. You could also look for a fixed rate mortgage if you don’t already have one, so you know what you will be paying for a set amount of time and can budget accordingly. It is worth looking into, as has been said, it can be one of your biggest expenses.
When you have got a family it can seem like you just accumulate a lot of stuff. And while decluttering won’t save you money, if you have a clear out and find some things that you can sell on, then it can be a good way to generate some money for getting rid of the things that you don’t need. Car boot sales can be a good way to get rid of a lot of stuff, but you tend to not get too much for your money at car boot sales. For higher ticket items, sites like eBay can be a good idea, as well as using local selling groups on Facebook. Then just make sure that you put the money that you earn into something worthwhile like to pay off debt or to put towards Christmas.
Raising a family can cost a lot of money, and a lot of it can be unnecessary spend. For instance, if you have got children going into reception year at school next week, then you will be in for a lot of birthday invites coming your way. But do you need to go to all of them; up to thirty potential birthday parties and gifts to buy? For some things, just like other social events or things like weddings, if it is going to cost you a lot to go, then it can be better to just say no. It can be a hard skill to acquire, but can help your wallet no end.
Your energy bills and water bills can be the next biggest expense after your rent or mortgage. So look for ways to save when it comes to them. You could give the following a try:
- Switch to a water meter instead of an estimate bill. The chances are that you will use less water than they think, especially if you are careful about your usage.
- Don’t use the tumble dryer, or use it sparingly. It can be tricky in winter, but can save you money.
- Switch your energy supplier to one with a fixed rate, if it isn’t going to cost you to get out of the contract.
Thanks for reading,
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