Keeping an eye on all your credit accounts, income, and outgoing is hard enough when you are single. However, if you happen to have kids, your job has just got even harder. You will have unexpected costs that can threaten the family budget every month, and might have to have a reserve fund or piggy bank to cover school trips, extra lessons, and school lunches. If you are a parent and are struggling with your family’s finances, read the below tips hardly anyone heard about.
Limit Finance Deals
When you have kids, the last thing you want is to build up a lot of debt just to get them the latest trainers and bills. If you cannot afford something, you should either visit the thrift store or save up. Families getting into debt can end up in serious trouble when their rent or mortgage payments start getting affected.
Get Your Finances In Order
If you have a car loan and mortgage you pay each month, you should schedule a home finance review every six months. Check your repayments, and if they have gone up, get in touch with the company to see if there is a better deal out there, or get help dealing with your debt. Many families simply don’t notice their bills going up, as they are too busy with kids.
Have a Budget and Put Money Aside
Creating a monthly budget is not hard. You simply have to add up your income, including every salary and social security benefit, and set an amount aside for each part of the budget, such as petrol, transport, food, and hygiene products. If you are lucky enough to have money left, you can add a budget for family days out once or twice a month.
Plan Your Weekly Menu Before Hitting the Shops
While grocery shopping is essential with kids, there are different ways of approaching the task. If you plan your menu and cook food from scratch, you can avoid buying items that you are likely to simply throw away. Have a draft menu each week drawn up and approved by your family, and then hit the shops.
Buy In Bulk
If you have a big family, or your kids love one particular snack or cereal, you might want to look for deals buying in bulk. Some of the food items have a long shelf life, and you can save a lot of money by taking advantage of the BOGOF or bulk offers.
One of the main issues families face is that they produce too much waste. If you have some meat left over from the weekend, you can use it for sandwiches on Monday. If you have pasta left from a meal, make a great pasta bake the next day. Buy cleaning and personal hygiene products in bulk and refill the container, so your household becomes greener and you save money.
Have Dinner and Movies at Home Once a Month
Going out is one of the greatest expenses for large families. If you go to the cinema, you are likely to spend over $50 without even getting drinks and popcorns. Instead of going out every weekend, you can set up a dinner and cinema night at home every month, and enjoy free entertainment, as well as quality time with your family.
Reduce the Number of Car Journeys
If you have two or more kids, try to find them schools close by. If you find a bus service for them to take to school, you will save time and money on gas, and they can develop a level of independence at the same time. Do your main shopping once a week, instead of visiting the supermarket every night.
Create a Separate Budget for Everything
You, as the head of the family know best when the kids need new trainers and coats. Instead of hoping that you will have enough money for these expensive items, you should budget ahead. Put some money aside for starting school in the summer, making it easier to pay without having to tap into your savings.
Set Household Bill Targets
Review your household bills regularly and set a target. If your kids spend hours in the shower, give them a bill reduction target, and reward them with a trip to the local park or a basketball match. Make sure you teach your children to turn off lights and electrical equipment when they stop using them.
Family budgets can be challenging, and it is up to you to teach your children frugal habits and ways of saving money. Keep a close eye on your credit accounts, and make sure you don’t pay too much for your household bills and home loans.