Raising a family even on two incomes can sometimes create moments of financial despair, especially when a child’s birthday or a family social gathering lingers just around the corner. The good news is that there are many ways to reel in your spending and conserve your resources, to save money each day.
The weekly trip to the supermarket can consume a lot of your extra cash. However, there are ways to reduce the cost of food shopping each visit. First, it’s always in your best interest to create a complete shopping list prior to heading out the door. This will allow you to stick to the list and avoid buying any unnecessary items.
Second, plan your meals ahead as well and make at least one dish a casserole so that you can get two dinners in the same week. You can freeze the leftover portion and then just reheat it at the end of the week.
Third, make sure that you check the weekly flyers provided by the local supermarkets to see who has the items you need for less. And, fourth, make sure to bring along coupons to further enhance your savings.
Cutting Costs at Home
Running a household can cost a lot of money when you factor in the mortgage or rent, utilities, garbage removal, and cable television. Luckily, there are ways to reduce your bills and free up money you can use for other things. Use the competition as a way to save by contacting other service providers of gas, electric and water to see if their rates are better.
Additionally, with children in the home, it’s not uncommon for electricity and water consumption to rise dramatically. Have a talk with every member of the family, and make it a goal to reduce the household utilities by 20%. Explain how turning off lights when leaving a room and using less water can help you keep more money in your pocket for fun things.
When it comes to other bills, like your car insurance and you have teens driving, put an older car on a separate policy under their name. This will allow you to reduce the insurance for teens by eliminating or reducing the coverage in areas not needed. Also if you bundle your homeowner’s insurance together with your two auto insurance policies you can save even more.
Pay Cash for the Extras
Too many people rely on credit cards for everything. The problem is that unless you are able to pay the balance off each month, you’re accumulating interest. Over time, if you only pay the minimum monthly payment imposed by the credit card, you can end up paying two or three times the cost of the original item.
Instead, give yourself an allowance and use cash to pay for the extras. When the cash runs out, you’re spending is over until the next pay period. This will put an end to overpaying for daily items and teach you how to utilize every penny you make.
Start a Savings Account
Everyone needs a savings account as a backup in case of an emergency or a sudden illness. Unfortunately, many people still don’t have one. You don’t have to have hundreds of dollars each week to keep one afloat. All you need is about a hundred dollars to open one and then you can add to it weekly based on your budget.
As your income grows or you pay off a debt, you contribute more. In a relatively short amount of time, you’ll see your savings grow. Then when it comes time for a new car, a family trip abroad, or a DIY home project, you’ll have the money set aside and avoid the need of borrowing money or taking out a loan with interest.
Raising a family is expensive. However, with a little planning and restraint, you can make the most of your money and enjoy a better quality of life.
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