5 Ways to Raise a Family on a Tight Budget
5 Ways to Raise a Family on a Tight Budget – Saving money is hard work these days. It seems like the cost of living is constantly going up, while things like wages remain frustratingly static. When you’ve got a family to look after, figuring out how you’re going to make ends meet becomes even tougher. It’s no wonder that so many parents spend most of their time printing out coupons and counting pennies.
If you’re one of the many families that need help making the most out of their cash this year, don’t worry – you’ve come to the right place. Here are just some of the ways that you can raise your family on even the smallest shoe-string budget.
1. Remember that Less is More
Since the cost of housing is one of the biggest expenses that today’s families worry about, it’s worth thinking about whether you’re over-spending on your mortgage or rent. Maybe you started off in a bigger house when you had two large incomes to help pay for the bills, but something in your lifestyle changed, and now it’s getting harder to keep up with the expenses.
Switching to a smaller house and asking your kids to share a room for a while might be a great way to lower your costs monthly. On the other hand, if you love your home and would rather do anything but give it up, then you can always consider re-mortgaging to see whether you can get a better price from a different lender. Financial comparison sites like Readies.co.uk can go a long way to helping you find the right deal.
2. Make Meals at Home
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that you can save a lot of cash by making sure that you don’t eat out at takeaways, restaurants, and fast-food joints as often. Planning your meals in advance allows you to prepare for the week ahead more frugally, by stocking up on the food you need. For instance, if you know you’re going to have chicken twice in one week, you can buy a bulk amount and split it up into two portions.
The great thing about making meals at home is that you can also improve your healthy habits by ensuring you only stock up on good ingredients. Though it’s important to have a treat from time to time to make sure you don’t go off the rails, you can ensure that the majority of your food is low-fat and nutritious.
3. Cut Your Childcare Costs
If you’re a single parent, or both you and your partner work, then you might have a hard time finding someone to affordably look after the kids. The good news is that the government will help with this to some extent, but even their support only goes so far. Try to look for people in your friends and family circle who can handle babysitting for you a few times a week.
If all your network is busy, then you could discuss your options with your boss. A larger number of employers are starting to embrace concepts like flexible working. If they don’t let you change your hours, then they may allow you to work from home now and again.
4. Make the Most of What You Have
When you’re worried about money and bills, it’s easy to get so caught up thinking about what you don’t have, that you forget to prize what you “do” have. If that sounds like you, take a step back and try to take stock of your situation. For instance, if you have a backyard then you also have something to keep your kids entertained. A garden can be a place your children can run around, explore new hobbies like gardening, and more.
Additionally, there are plenty of local places to visit in almost any neighbourhood. Simply look your city or town up on Google and enter the phrase “Things to Do for Free” and you’re sure to find a handful of exciting ways to keep the kids entertained.
5. Remember that Experiences Trump Possessions
Finally, although it always seems to be the people “with” money that say it doesn’t matter, the truth is that cash really can’t buy happiness. Although it helps to know that you can pay the bills at the end of every month, don’t get so caught up in feeling like you have to have endless supplies of cash to keep your kids happy. It’s easy for negative thinking to lead you into dark places as a parent, and it’s your job to stay positive for your youngsters.
The things that matter most to your children – like spending time with their parents – don’t cost any money at all.
*This is a sponsored post.