We live in unpredictable economic times, and job security is always at risk. In addition, the cost of living has skyrocketed. Whether it’s rent, education, food or clothing, everything today is more expensive.
Here we discuss money saving tips for families so that they can stay within their budget and still manage to live a fairly comfortable life, all the while saving for a better future. These tips are not meant to be complicated, but simple tips you can put into action today.
It is important for families to be aware of household money saving tips so that they can learn how to save money. The first thing to understand is that saving money is not a one-shot deal but requires a major change in lifestyle.
This does not mean that one should live frugally, but it does suggest that one should try and avoid overspending and unnecessary expenditures.
Here are our favorite 8 money saving tips for families:
Grocery and food are one of the primary expenditures of any normal household. If you want to manage your budget properly, the fundamental idea is to plan your meals ahead of time.
Even an impromptu meal to a fast-food restaurant for a family can easily cost $30-$40 these days. It is also an unnecessary and an unhealthy choice. The food you consume is junk, and all you really achieve is an accumulation of extra calories.
Therefore, plan your meals ahead of time. It not only saves money, but also ensures the food consumed is healthy and nutritious. In addition, when a family plans their meals ahead of time, they are also less inclined to eat out and splurge on junk food.
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Another one of the important money saving tips for families is to shop smart. This does not mean that you should spend half your time cutting out coupons and micromanaging their shopping.
But, it is a good idea to make a list of items you need so you can purchase everything in one trip. When you combine this with proper meal planning you have a powerful 1-2 punch in saving money.
The less frequently families go to supermarkets and grocery stores, the less chance of purchasing unnecessary items. It might also be a good idea to go shopping without children, as they often end up forcing parents to buy things on impulse.
Finally, there is no harm in utilizing sales, coupons, special holiday discounts, etc. when shopping for necessary items. Many are available on your mobile device now, so you don't have to do the classic "coupon-clipping" that your parents did.
Grocery stores have a lot of great sales nowadays in order to win your business. It is entirely possible to plan your entire meal schedule around the sales that a store has.
Traveling with a family can be a costly affair. This is true especially when one goes on a vacation to Disneyland or other exotic places. If you are a family living in North America, you should know there are many great places one can visit by car or rail.
If you can only afford to live in a small, affordable Milwaukee 3-bedroom apartment, well, then don’t spend thousands of dollars on vacations to Orlando or Paris. While you might need to get a little creative, there are many ways to vacation on the cheap and still have fun.
Go hiking, cycling, or sightseeing over the weekend. By planning ahead, such trips can be as much fun as going anywhere else.
Many little towns plan leisure activities for families on weekends and holiday breaks. These could include visits to the museum, carnivals, and art shows. Keep an eye out for such events.
A big advantage of small-scale activities is that they cost less, are not over-crowded, and allow families to spend more quality time with each other.
You should remember it is not where one goes that’s important. It’s how much time you get to spend together with your family. That is more important.
Kids can be very antsy about being home and may want to go out all the time. But, even going to the movie theater these days is an expensive affair.
Try to be creative and set up things for entertainment at home. Have a collection of board games or have a home movie night with popcorn. Or, take the kids to the nearby park to feed the ducks and squirrels.
There are lots of things families can do at home without spending too much money. And, while it isn't saving money, there are also ways to earn money while at home.
One of the best ways to save money for families is to live below your means. While most take this to mean spending less money than you make, this also translates to all areas of your life.
For starters, live in a smaller home. Smaller homes save you money at every turn. They cost less to buy, for starters.
They also cost less to heat and cool, less to furnish, less to fix... you get the picture. There is an entire tiny home movement, where families get really creative with how to maximize space and save money.
Either way, try living smaller. Buy less, and consider downsizing.
One area where most families waste a lot of money is by failing to conserve energy. Families do not have to be experts in electronics or plumbing to save money at home.
Teach the kids to turn off the lights when not in the room. Then, unplug any unused electrical items, use timed showers, and install a new low flow toilet. These little changes can go a long way in reducing monthly energy costs. Consider buying smart bulb home accessories to help reduce costs on your energy bill as well.
Don’t buy on impulse. Most people end up spending a lot more money than they should when they shop on impulse. Everybody has access to the Internet today.
You can simply go online, compare store prices, and make an intelligent purchase decision. You can also read reviews and have the product delivered to their home at no cost if they shop around and shop smart. Use the Internet to your advantage to compare products before buying them, as this will help you save money. If you're looking for home appliances, such as a vacuum, there are several affordable vacuum models you can find for under $50.
If you have a problem with impulse purchases, try implementing a rule for yourself that you need to wait a certain period of time before making a purchase. This "cooling off" period might very well cure your sporadic and splurge spending.
Related: 7 Ways to Live More Efficiently
Another effective way to save money for families to start growing their own food. This may not be a feasible option for everyone. It is dependent on where a family lives and the type of home they have. But, for those who can, there is no reason why one can’t grow some vegetables and even fruits indoors.
Lettuce, onions, spinach, garlic, and ginger can all be grown indoors in small pots. Even strawberries and blueberries do well inside the home. Moreover, it isn't difficult or expensive - it just takes some time and dedication.
Beyond gardening, take care of your own landscaping. Hiring it out can be expensive. Instead, make it a family event to keep the lawn and bushes cut and trimmed. Pick up a few good pieces of gardening equipment, and divvy out the responsibilities.
Households can save money quite effectively by being smart and proactive. All it needs is a little creativity, planning, and intelligence.
Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.