Being a parent is one of the best things in the world, but it does also come with its fair share of financial challenges. There’s no denying it that by the time you’ve added in everything from nappies and baby formula to toys, school trips, and later on, university, the amount they cost can reach a lot. When we live in the time of a cost of living crisis, this is less than ideal and while you don’t want your children to go without, you also need to be savvy with how you spend your money. Here we have put together some smart strategies for saving money as a parent.
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Create a budget and stick to it
One of the most important things to start doing when looking to save money as a parent, is to create a budget and stick to it. You want to make it a realistic amount of money so you can still purchase things, but also not too excessive. You could create different pots for different things such as a clothes budget, food shop, bills, and “fun” or just have a set amount go into savings every month. No matter how you decide to do it, a budget is one of the easiest ways to save money. Don’t worry if you dip into your savings every now and again, just try not to make a regular habit of it.
Plan your meals
You’d be surprised at just how much money it can use up if you don’t plan your meals. You can end up with food being left in cupboards and going off. You also end up not utilising your ingredients and purchasing more from the shop which ends up being a waste of money. By planning your meals you can make ingredients go further and it saves you time too! There are many websites online which help you to plan your meals and you can also look in recipe books and on blogs too.
Look into second hand purchases
You would be surprised at just what you can get second hand when you care to look. For many things such as clothes, books and games you can find these in places such as charity shops as well as online like Vinted or eBay. Buying second hand gives you the chance to own things you need but at a fraction of the cost. If buying online, be sure to look at seller reviews and toggle by the condition the item is in to ensure you’re not getting something that is damaged or unfit for purpose.
Find activities you can do for free
As a family, you want to do things together, making memories and having a good time. While there are many activities that seem to cost a lot of money, the market is also filled with plenty that aren’t so pricey or even free. You could look into free events that might be hosted near to your home, or find new parks and beaches that you can visit. You could also do things such as having an arts and crafts day or making a cinema in your front room. These don’t need to cost much so will save you money and are just as much if not more fun than paid for activities!
Have an emergency fund ready
Unfortunately in life, things do happen and you need to have some spare cash set aside for this. It could be that a last-minute school trip away crops up, that their trainers or bag breaks and they need a new one, or they want to go out with friends. No matter what it is, if the unexpected happens, it’s a good idea to have some spare cash ready so you don’t need to stress. Have a side pot that you put money into every month and this will mean you are ready for all eventualities.
These are just a few things you can do to save money as a parent. There’s no denying that children are expensive, but by being careful and coming up with new strategies to save and make your money go further, it doesn’t need to be as difficult. If you aren’t someone who normally budgets, it can feel difficult at first, but once you start to foster good habits these will continue for a time to come. What are some of your top tips for saving money as a parent? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!
Source: Mums Savvy Savings