Being a parent brings a fresh new challenge every single day, but one of the things that people struggle with most is managing their money. Raising a family is very expensive and as soon as your first baby arrives, you have to deal with so many expenses that you never even considered before. That’s why it’s absolutely vital that you have a proper family budget, otherwise, you’re never going to be able to keep on top of things. But a lot of families find that, even though they have a budget in place, they’re still struggling to make ends meet and they have to resort to borrowing, which is going to get you into a lot of financial trouble if you’re not careful. The reason that this happens is that people waste money on certain areas of their budget without even realizing it. If your family budget doesn’t add up, it could be because you’re overspending in these areas.
Kids go through clothes so quickly because they’re always growing and they get them messed up when they’re out playing, so most families spend a big chunk of their budget buying new clothes every month. Unfortunately, it’s not a cost that you can avoid completely, but the chances are, you’re spending more than you need to. Shopping online is a great way to save because there are plenty of sites where you can find good quality kids clothes at discounted prices. You should also buy separate clothes for them to play in and just get cheap stuff. It’s going to get ruined regardless so there’s no need to spend a lot of money. Then you can get a few more expensive outfits that they can wear when they aren’t playing and they’re not going to get ruined. It’s also worth looking in charity shops and second-hand shops to see if you can pick up some cheap stuff there as well. When your older kids grow out of things, you shouldn’t throw anything out because you can use them again in the future when your younger kids are big enough.
Family holidays are so important because they’re a good way to teach your kids about other cultures and broaden their education, and it gives you the opportunity to get away from it all and spend some quality time together. However, a lot of families don’t take the time to plan properly and find the best deals, so they end up spending a lot more than they need to. It’s not that difficult to plan a summer holiday on a budget if you know where to look. Always make sure that you’re using comparison sites to book your flights rather than going direct to the airline so you can get the best deal. Booking during busy periods is going to cost you a lot more as well, so maybe consider going during term time (as long as your kids haven’t started school yet) because it will be way cheaper. You could also look into alternative destinations that are much cheaper than the popular summer holiday resorts.
The food shop is another of your big expenses that you could be saving a lot of money on if you make a few simple changes. First off, don’t bother buying brand names because most of the time, they’re exactly the same as the cheaper versions. If you check the ingredients, you’ll see that there’s no difference apart from the packaging and the price. Batch cooking is a great way to save money as well because the ingredients are cheaper if you buy in bulk. You can cook up a load of meals and put them in the freezer, which saves you time when you need a quick, healthy meal for the family. You should also be on the lookout for coupons and deals, and don’t go to the same supermarket every time. Work out which shop has the best deals on that week and go there instead.
It’s important that you spend quality time with your kids and take them out to do fun things, but it could be costing you a lot of money. If you’re going out to the cinema or eating out in restaurants all of the time, you’re spending a big chunk of your budget. The thing is, you don’t need to spend loads of money on expensive days out to have a good time with your family. There are plenty of free things that you can do with the kids instead, you’ll still get to spend quality time together but it won’t hurt your bank balance.
Making these simple changes to your budget will save you so much money every month and you don’t have to make any sacrifices to your lifestyle.