Whether you have a child that is only a couple of years away from going to college or whether you are trying to tighten the purse strings for an approaching summer holiday, we could certainly all do with freeing up a little extra cash. It can be really tough to find easy and practical ways to save money both long-term and short-term and when you are balancing the needs of a family this makes saving money even more of a challenge.
However there are so many simple and effective ways for families to be saving money. Whether you are saving towards something that is just around the corner, or whether you just want to learn about how to save for a rainy day or for important future family events, here are our tops tips on how to live more frugally, without even noticing, and how to save money without making big sacrifices. Making small changes in life can lead to big differences, and as the saying goes, ‘take care of the cents and the dollars will take care of themselves’.
Look at Premium Bank Accounts
There are some really interesting saving accounts and bank accounts that offer really healthy interest rates, so it is a good idea to look around to make sure you are getting the best deals out there. Some banks offer sign-up bonuses for when new customers open up an account and some banks are offering far superior interest rates than others, so it well worth the time putting in a bit of research to make sure you are putting your family’s money in the best place possible.
Less TV Time
Ok, so the kids aren’t going to like this one, but you certainly will when you see the difference in your electricity bills. Cutting down on the amount of time that you and your family spend in front of the TV can make a difference to your monthly bills so maybe you can try and implement a maximum ‘telly time’ limit per day.
With so many TV add ons these days, like Netflix, HBO, different paid for cable channels and smart TV DVD rentals it is very easy for our monthly TV bills to get a little out of control. Therefore look at all your outgoings when it comes to your family entertainment and see where you can cut some costs so that you are not wasting unnecessary money on channels and entertainment packages that you don’t need or don’t use.
Second Hand Sales
Selling your wares second hand is a huge trend right now and there has never been an easier time to make money from the things that you no longer want. With so many second hand apps on the market it is a great way to make money from your unwanted items by selling them to people in your local community.
Look around your home for any furniture, clothes, appliances and any other items that you no longer use, take some nice pics, set up a profile and put them up for a reasonable price. Then sit back and wait for the requests to start rolling in. Make sure that you are only putting up items that are still in good conditions, that you are cleaning items up and that you are vigilant about responding to enquiries to ensure that you are building up a strong and trustworthy vendor profile.
Maybe you also have gift cards or vouchers for stores that you know that you won’t use, in which case you will be able to sell those and make yourself some money. Research online the places where you can bring your cards to cards 2 cash to see which sites are there to facilitate sales, such as these. Think a little outside of the box, in terms of the items that you have that you can sell to make some money. You will be surprised at how many opportunities there are from the simple items in your home that can bring in that extra cash.
Reward programs are a super simple way to shave money off your weekly outgoings. Most retailers are now really focused on rewarding customers loyalty with all sorts of reward programs. They are there to keep customers loyal by offering great ways to save money with their brand, therefore it is a great idea to get involved where possible.
The best way to do this is by creating an email account purely for promotions on loyalty points and programs so that you can check this account every week to see where you can make the biggest savings. Get collecting all the cards and then check all the best coupons for that store to see where you can save on the items that you need for that week. From there you can keep on top of all the extra points you are building up along the way, you can take advantage of the discounts and you can make big savings on items that are necessary for you and your family.
Shelling out for gifts and presents throughout the year can sometimes unravel all the good work we have done that month to save money. Unexpected gifting can really chip away at our family budgets so why not think about turning a little crafty and making your very own, homemade gifts. Not only will you save money but people tend to like handmade gifts over any other kind of present as they are so personal and show that that people have spent time creating something special just for them.
Great homemade gifts, that are really easy to make, can be anything from homemade candles, using old vintage jars and pots or retro tins. You can make a batch of homemade cookies for friends with a sweet tooth. Home made soaps with dried flowers and petals are super pretty and, again are really easy to make. So have a look into the little home made crafts that you can get into that will keep both your friends and your bank balance very happy.
Think About it
Impulse purchases can really make a dent in our monthly outgoings. It can be so easy to see something tempting and snap it up in the moment. However spending a little time to go away and think about whether you really need it is a great way to sift through what you actually want or need and what you really don’t need. Waiting a couple of weeks will often show you that actually the impulse to buy that item has subsided and you may even be relieved that you didn’t waste the money. So if you are sitting on the fence about anything, giving yourself a couple of weeks to think about it, may save you from lots of unnecessary spending.
Planning your family shopping is essential in order to be prepared for all the week’s dinners, lunches and breakfasts. Being organized about the large cost of family food shopping can mean that you can keep the weekly food budget as lean as possible.
Planning out the weekly meals and then writing down the shopping list means that you can stick to your meal plan, avoid being distracted and buying things that you don’t need and in turn will drastically reduce the amount of food wasted in your home. So organize, plan, write a shopping list and then stick to it.
Nights out with friends and family have a real knack of destroying any carefully saved money for that month. Of course we all need to get out of the house and be sociable but we can certainly save money by combining nights out with well planned nights in. Whether you are entertaining your friends at home or just organizing a ‘games night’ with your family, you will save a lot of money by organizing a social, fun night, but just in the comfort of your own home instead.
Organize card games, movie nights, dinner parties with a group of friends where you rotate each week and even just good old fashioned summer BBQ’s will ensure that you are enjoying the company of your friends and family, but without breaking the bank.
There are many things around our house that we are just itching to replace. Tattered looking sofas, curtains, and kids clothes. However replacing clothes, furniture and other items around the house can be really pricey so why not see what items you can repair. Sewing buttons onto shirts, repairing that dropped hem on a skirt and repairing the hole in your bathroom curtain are all little ways that you can improve your home without spending lots of money.
Even tatty looking sofas can be reupholstered for just a fraction of the price of a new sofa, so start looking at how you can keep your home looking its best with a little bit of TLC rather than by just throwing money at new items. We are all proud of our homes and want them to look their best, but sometimes all it takes is a little thought and a simple needle and thread.