Many families will be looking to save money, but may be reluctant to sacrifice on their existing lifestyle, as providing your family with the opportunities they deserve will undoubtedly appear very high on your list of priorities The good news is that with a few simple changes you can relieve the financial pressure on your family, without having to make big sacrifices.
The first and most important thing to do is to understand exactly how much you are spending and on what. This process is simple enough and involves placing all receipts in a basket every day. This way nothing slips through the cracks, as all too often it is the small, seemingly insignificant purchases that add up and it is these that you need to review.
The next step is to consider your use of credit cards. Obviously spending on these may be a necessity, but the truth is that interest charged and late payment fees can quickly elevate expenses, and can make a purchase considerably more costly. For this reason it is important to consider the options of using a debit card. This way you learn to spend within your means, but more importantly live within in them too.
Fixed monthly outgoings are often more difficult to reign in. These includes mortgage or rental payments, taxes, education and medical fees as well as many others. There are however other more flexible costs that with a little reworking can help bring down monthly expenses. Walk around the house, asking yourself, do we use this? Could we get it cheaper?
For example, is a land line necessary with cell phones and the growth of online chat? Ask yourself if you could get a cheaper rate without one. Cable television, energy tariffs, transport costs; consider alternatives and where this is possible,shop around to compare prices. Even a little saving can accumulate to reduce costs.
Food, as any parent will agree, is an endless conveyor belt of expense. What’s more is that as children get bigger and hungrier this treadmill only gets faster. Every parent will want to provide the best nourishment, and the good news is that just because a family wishes to control their expenses, it does not have to mean sacrificing a healthy lifestyle.
One of the most effective tools a food shopper can possess is a shopping list. Simple as it sounds, a list requires you to plan the sort of meals you intend to cook, helping control the costs, whilst reducing the risk of impulse buying.
Coupons and in-store offers are another excellent means of saving money whilst changing nothing about your lifestyle, and with shops all competing for your custom there has rarely been greater deals available. Plan your family meals around the offers, and the savings can be remarkable.
There are countless techniques to reduce your monthly outgoings, and the ones that work for you and your family will be specific to your unique needs. However, the important thing to consider is what you choose to do with the money saved. Whether you invest into a college fund, retirement savings or even saving for a family holiday, the most important thing to remember is that this process is not about living a restrained life, but freeing up wasted money and investing it back into the future of your family, together.
Robert Wells writes for YourWealth.co.uk a site that specialises in offering consumers access to financial information, products or advice according to their needs.
Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to control spending.