How to Save Money for your Family
Being a parent is not cheap, in fact it can be a big expensive new parents aren’t ready for…you’ve got more mouths to feed, school outings to pay for and there’s that all important holiday that comes around each year (not to mention all the presents for Christmas and birthdays). In fact, the average cost of raising a child in the UK is around £230,000. Now this actually sounds like someone got the figures completely wrong but check it out for yourself!
For people who are just starting out, this can be a real struggle to get by. The UK economy (like most around the world) is still shaky and securing any job is hard enough, let alone one that will help finance bringing up a family.
Budgeting sounds boring and sounds like a job for an accountant however we should all be doing this. Being a younger parent can also mean budgeting is not on your prioritizes however getting control of this can be one of the best things you can do to really get on top of things. A budget is there to help match your income with your monthly outgoings and is a good way to meet all those day to day living costs and seeing what’s left over. If you don’t keep tabs on things, you may find you simply run out of money before the end of the month. When you’re a student this isn’t so bad, just eat beans on toast for a few days, but when you’ve got a family to support, this isn’t a good situation to be in.
How can you save more?
- Look at your bank statement – what did you actually spend money on? Did those impulsive days out or trips to the restaurant actually cost more than you thought?Cutting out luxuries and highlighting ways to comfortably cut costs can help you budget more efficiently.
- Check your entitlements – are you getting all the benefits due to you or are you missing out on extra cash? Just £20 a month can make all the difference to your monthly budget so do double check your entitlements – our tax credits and child benefit pages are a good place to start. Check with Gov.uk to look into this further.
- Look at your biggest payments and brainstorm ways to reduce them – cutting down on food bills can help. The 1% rule is a great example here. Rather than making one big lifestyle change in order to save money, try and save 1% in lots of areas of your life. 1% is very easy to achieve and over all your expenses should add up and show a noticeable improvement.
- Be a savvy/frugal shopper – research ways to make food shopping and other purchases cheaper. Many high street stores offer reward schemes, loyalty cards and vouchers and there are lots of web-based schemes to help you save money when you shop online.
Clever budgeting skills can earn you lots of money and help you save for those expensive items like holidays, a new car or school trips for the kids. You also need some extra cash for those unexpected expenses like breakdowns.