It costs a lot of money to raise a family. Even if you’re a savvy money manager, providing for your children’s needs usually requires devoting the majority of your earnings to necessities like food, clothing, energy bills, hobbies, and educational equipment – and that’s before you consider occasional luxuries like days out or museum visits.
Many families are constantly feeling the pinch, so it’s no surprise that we’re always seeking methods to conserve money while keeping a good quality of family life. Thankfully, there are ways to save money – and while eliminating a single item is unlikely to help you reclaim control of your finances, cutting back on a variety of expenses will leave you with more money at the end of each month.
Try some of these money-saving techniques for families to handle their spending.
1) Establish a budget
Budgeting is the first step toward getting a better handle on your finances. You’ll be able to buy the goods your family requires and desires more easily. To do so, glance over your recent bank statements to see how much money is coming in and (more importantly) going out.
It would help if you determined your basic expenses — rent, energy bills, food, and diapers – and then hunt for places where you can save money. For instance, preparing a packed lunch for work every day rather than buying a high-street meal may save you up to £1,000 per year.
2) Fill out an application for financial assistance and benefits.
Are you claiming all of the financial assistance to which you are entitled? There are numerous incentives available to assist with the costs of caring for infants and newborns. For example, if you’re pregnant, you can get free NHS medications and dental care for a year after your baby is delivered.
Kid benefit, monthly payment for each child you have, should also be available. Child benefit pays £21.05 per week for your oldest child and £13.95 per week for each additional child in the 2020/21 tax year. There is no limit to the number of children you can file a claim for.
It’s worth looking into what benefits you might be eligible for because some, like child tax credits, are based on your income, while others are available to all parents.
3) Purchase a non-branded product
If you have a family with kids or small children, you might be amazed at how much money you can save by buying non-brand formula and nappies. You might also be shocked to learn that the difference between branded and non-branded products is usually negligible.
Buying off-brand doesn’t have to be limited to baby supplies; generic drugs are often available for a fraction of the price of branded medicines, and you can save a lot of money on things like toiletries.
4) Keep a lookout for coupon codes.
Discount codes and money-off certificates can help you save on necessities for fun activities. Before completing a purchase, conduct a fast search for coupon codes if you’re shopping online. Some websites provide a discount on your first purchase, while others may run special deals on specific products from time to time. It’s a sure-fire approach to save money on the goods your family requires and desires in any case.
5) Don’t Splurge on Toys
It’s a cliche, but babies and toddlers are frequently just as content to play with a product’s box or wrapping paper as with the toy itself. Toys should be one of the first items you cut back on if you’re having financial difficulties.
This doesn’t mean you have to be a snob and forbid your children from having toys; it simply means being more cautious about buying. Young children will enjoy playing with everyday items such as empty kitchen roll tubes and spatulas, so don’t feel bad if you don’t believe the most popular toddler toys.
6) Lower Your Household Expenses
You may save hundreds of pounds per year by switching to cheaper electricity, broadband, or mobile phone provider. If you or your partner is presently on parental leave, one of your top considerations should be finding the greatest energy contract. Because you’ll be doing a lot more washing and consuming more power, heating, and hot water at home, your expenses may skyrocket.
To find a great deal, use a comparison site, then repeat the process every year. New consumers typically get better rates from energy providers than established customers, so don’t hesitate to shop around. If you have the time, you can even attempt pitting utility companies against one other to save even more money.
7) Enroll in Loyalty Programs
Many supermarkets provide loyalty cards that reward you for returning to their store. Every quarter, you’ll be rewarded with money-off vouchers that you can use to lower the cost of your weekly grocery shopping.
Restaurants and other merchants also have loyalty programmes; for example, high-street coffee companies will occasionally give you a free coffee if you make regular purchases. When you’re on a tight budget, it’s understandable to avoid paying for high-street coffee entirely. Still, if you combine one or more of these money-saving methods, you should be able to indulge yourself now and again with the money you save.
8) Buy Second-Hand Items to Help the Environment
Baby items are notoriously durable, although they are rarely used. It’s therefore simple to locate good deals by purchasing secondhand items – and you’ll also be helping the earth.
Check local social media sale pages for products you could need – be sure to do some research and inspect the item for any potential hazards before buying. Certain things, such as car seats, should never be acquired used, and it’s impossible to know whether a car seat has been in an accident that may have weakened it. Toys, on the other hand, should be alright.
9) Let your friends and family know what you require.
Friends and relatives will likely rally around to bring gifts for your new baby if you’ve recently welcomed a new addition to the family. Please don’t allow them to go shopping without knowing what you need, what you already have, and what you don’t want. Some websites, such as Amazon, may give you free presents or discounts if you create a “wish list” for your new baby, which friends and relatives can use to make purchases on your behalf.
10) Out-of-Season Vacation
This can be difficult for families with older children, as school attendance requirements make it illegal to take children out of class without a valid cause. If your children have not yet started school, though, vacationing outside of the school year could save you hundreds of pounds. During the school year, you may discover amazing prices on weekday trips, and if you keep an eye on the weather forecast, you can enjoy great weather even when it’s not in season.
11) Lower Your Food Expenses
If your family eats takeout more than once a week, reducing the amount of fast food you consume could benefit your pocketbook and waistline.
It’s also the best idea to make a grocery list before going to the store — and stick to it. You won’t be tempted to make impulse purchases of perishable foods that will go unused this way.
If possible, avoid going to the supermarket with your family; shops are masters at strategically positioning things. It can be critical to say no when these goods (typically junk food, toys, or computer games) attract your children’s interest.
12) Seek low-cost family activities.
A trip to a theme park is not required for every family outing, and there are numerous free family-friendly activities available. Nature treks, wild camping, or a simple trip to the local public play area, for example, can all be excellent bonding experiences that don’t cost anything.
13) Get Rid of Things You Don’t Use
It’s natural to become nostalgic when your children outgrow toys, clothes, or other belongings. Don’t become a hoarder; instead, sell your goods on auction sites or local social media selling pages, and use the proceeds to purchase any necessary items for your family.
14) Deposit into a savings account
Putting cash aside for a rainy day may sound unduly simplistic, but it can help you avoid payday loans, emergency loans, credit cards, and overdrafts in the future. You won’t slip into debt this way, and you’ll save money on interest.
It’s crucial to remember that conserving money as a family involves work and minor sacrifices, and it’s also a lengthy process that resembles a marathon rather than a sprint. However, with a little patience and smart buying, you should be able to reap the rewards of saving in no time.