Four great financial tips for every mom.
According to Unicef, the average cost of raising a child is €135,000 in developing countries. In some European countries, this cost can go as high as €260,000. For many families, their disposable income continues to shrink and their cost of living continues to rise. However, for these families there are still birthday parties, school break activities and seasonal wardrobe changes to pay for. As a result, many mothers continue to look for ways of saving money on their monthly bills. Whether it is for a specific purpose such as funding your kids’ college education or for ensuring their financial security in the future, there are many ways you can shave money off your monthly spend and get started on achieving your financial goals. More surprisingly, many of these tips are simple and easy to implement. Here are a few of them.
Don’t underestimate the power of budgeting
As minimal it may sound, creating a budget can make an incredible difference in your family’s spending habits and get you started on saving. Using of budgeting strategies is a great tip to help achieve your financial goals. One of the many great benefits of a budget is that it highlights your unnecessary spends each month and lets you know where you can cut back. That cup of coffee on the way to the office each day? Tracking your spend would let you see exactly how much you are spending every week on what may seem a small purchase.
Once you have identified weak areas, you can work on alternatives or cut them out all together. Use of thermal cup and taking a coffee from home each day can save you over $20 each week. Budgets are brilliant tools for really seeing where your income goes every month.
Some may find a monthly budget ideal while others prefer create a weekly one. It is entirely your choice and centers on your family dynamics. After eliminating unnecessary spends, you can even add a standard savings amount to your budget and before you know it, you and your family are well on your way to financial independence.
Utilise meal planning
Many people are afraid of meal planning because they think it automatically means a lot of work and also monotony in their meals. This does not have to be the case. You can still maintain variety and cook great nutritional meals for your family. Best part: you will be saving money doing it! How you may ask? Planning meals gives you a chance to utilise the groceries available and reduce waste. Approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted each year. Hungarian families spent a sizeable 23 percent of their income on food in 2015.
Get creative and use those ripe bananas to bake a banana bread for the kids’ lunchbox. With many online resources, recipes and options are endless. For you working moms, menu planning is also a great timesaver and waste less food. Plan your meals around what’s in your pantry and then only buy what you need. If you can, try to bulk cook some of your meals for the week and freeze. This makes it much easier when you all get home after a long day and that way, there is always food ready should a kid feel hungry.
Don’t be afraid to seek out offers
Buying in bulk when there are great offers on at the supermarkets can be very cost efficient. However be sure, these items are ones your family needs or uses and not just a whim purchase. If you are dining out many restaurants offer half price or kids eat free nights. Adventure and amusement parks also do do these kinds of offers. Take advantage of these and cut some money off your eating out bills. This way you can still take the kids out and not spend a fortune doing it.
Another great option often overlooked are the free amenities. Many parks and social groups in communities are free of charge and a great way to entertain the kids. Community centers and churches often have groups for kids so check with your local center.
Yards sales and charity shops are your friend
Finally, be smart when shopping. Many yard sales and charity shops have great kids’ items such as clothing in great condition for a fraction of the price. Have an older child? Store their clothing and utilise hand downs for the younger kids.It is a great way of reducing the clothing bills. Kids grow at such a fast pace and seasons are always changing. Chances are that their clothing will still be in good condition by the time they have outgrown them. In fact, they might have only worn them a handful of times.
Saving money does not need to be difficult or warrant drastic life changes. With a few minor adjustments, you can see a great improvement in your family’s financial health.