Having a family is an expensive business. We find it increasingly more so now that we have two children, there are preschool fees to pay, new shoes to buy, food for four and general day to day living. We often have to stop and look at what we are spending to make sure we can cover all the necessary bills.
We have found there are a few things that have helped us save money every month, here are my top five tips.
This is so important and something we are having to do much more religiously now we are a family of four and I am at home more. My husband and I sat down one night and listed everything that went out of our accounts that were essentials, checked any old subscriptions that were active on our accounts and stopped them if necessary. This then gave us our outgoings. Once we had covered those we then allocated ourselves a budget for food and living. I make a note now of everything I spend so I don’t go over on my ‘living’ expenses.
Go for free
I used to spend a fortune on activities for the girls, which at three and one they didn’t really appreciate. Their favourite activity is going to the park in the summer and our local Sure Start childrens centre in the Winter. We are so lucky to have this resource on our doorstep and it means I save money by not having to pay to keep them amused. You can find out if you have a Sure Start centre near you on their website or your local authorities website.
Being more organised with meals has probably saved us the most money every month.
We now use Hello Fresh for our meals, which may seem expensive up front, but it means we don’t waste anything on our Monday – Friday meals. For the family meals at the weekends and the girls food I then meal plan to ensure we only buy what we need.
This has stopped me from doing so many top up shops, which has saved money but also saved on waste.
Get the best deal on finance
Should you ever find yourself needing a loan for an unexpected expense like a boiler breakdown or a new tyre on a car short term loans can help bridge the gap between needing to pay and having the cash to hand.
There are lots of options out there so always make sure you look for the right deal for you.
Look at what help you can get
There are lots of money saving schemes or credits that could be used to help you every month. Check whether your organisation provides childcare vouchers and if they do make sure you use them as they can save you hundreds every year in childcare costs.
There are also child tax credits that can be claimed and the new 3o hours in childcare allowance. Use a website like Moneysavingexpert to guide you on what you could be due.
Do you have any other useful tips if families are looking to save some money?
*This is a collaborative post*