The Best Money Saving Tips For Big Families
It’s no secret that it costs an awful lot of money to shelter, clothe and feed a family over the course of a year, especially when your family is bigger than average. Last year, The Telegraph reported that the typical family needed to pull in £40,000 a year to achieve a decent standard of living, meaning if your family is larger than the standard nuclear model, you’re in for a hefty bill of running costs each and every month.
Particularly at a time when the cost of living seems to be accelerating away from average wages, it’s no surprise that most parents in the UK are having to pay close attention to their spending to stay afloat. The good news is there are a number of simple steps every parent can undertake to better manage their finances — and here are a few you can start with today.
The more planning, the better
Planning, planning, planning. Unsurprisingly, much of good financial management, regardless of circumstance, comes down to good planning. So, if you’re not already creating carefully considered shopping lists, not tied yourself down to a structured budget or haven’t formulated the best method to deal with any outstanding debts, then you’re not managing your family finances right.
Good planning means you’re spending optimally. No impulse buys at the supermarket, no wild spending outside of your budget and no money unnecessarily lost on poorly managed debts. If you haven’t taken the time to sit down and thrash out your most important financial matters, it should be the first thing you do.
Life has a wonderful habit of throwing the odd mountainous hurdle in your way here and there, and unexpected events often come with unexpected costs which can temporarily derail even a solid family budget. You can, however, do your best to avoid this by preparing for the unexpected.
Consider the non-compulsory forms of insurance — take home insurance for example. You don’t absolutely need it, and you might think it makes sense to save on the monthly or yearly premium. However, should anything bad happen, it could be a life saver so, if you can afford it, you should probably have it.
The same goes for building an emergency fund. If you can afford to put any money at all aside for a rainy day; do it. Again, it’s not much fun, but you never know when you might need it.
Beg, borrow and steal
Well, maybe not the last one, but there’s absolutely no shame in taking advantage of second-hand items. Hand-me-downs are the lifeblood of big family clothing supplies, especially when it comes to the likes of baby and early teen clothing where your kids are growing quickly. Of course, you don’t want to put your children in rags, but it makes sense to reuse quality items where you can.
Outside of your own family, be sure to take advantage of anyone else’s desire to get rid of key bits. Whether that’s an unwanted washing machine or more clothes from family friends who aren’t planning on having any more children, you can accumulate savings via embracing the world of second-hand items.
There’s no doubt navigating family life successfully will present a considerable challenge, and much of that stress will surround managing your finances correctly. Still, with a few bits of common sense thinking and planning, maintaining a sense of financial wellbeing should be a tad easier.
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