Trying to save money while raising a family is no easy task. Taking inflation into account in the economy, the average cost of raising a child is around $293,000, putting aside healthcare and unexpected problems.
Additionally, the notable jump in prices of goods and higher cost of living leaves everyone with the thought, “how do I save more money?”
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to cut your costs by making your life a little budget-friendly. Here’s what you can do.
Prepare a Family Budget
Getting to the root of your finances is the first step in ensuring that the needs of your family are met while saving on unnecessary costs. Figure out how much money is coming in every month and where all of it is going. An easy way to conduct financial planning is by taking a look at your bank statements.
Once you identify essential expenses like food, utilities, and mortgage or rent, you’ll be able to find areas where you can cut back costs. This isn’t a one-time thing, as circumstances constantly change, you’ll need to recalibrate to suit your new requirements.
Cut Down on Grocery Bills
Families with one or two kids between the ages of 6 and 12 usually spend a noteworthy $700 to $1400 per month, on just food and snacks. It may not seem like you’re spending that much when you’re checking out, but putting it all together shows a significant amount.
To avoid buying useless products you don’t need, make a shopping list. Also, use a cash-back app to take advantage of discounts and sales on items. Lastly, avoid shopping when you’re hungry or stressed so you don’t overspend.
Consider Second-Hand Goods
Buying new clothes and shoes for your children, especially those under the age of 10, can be a huge constant waste of money since they’ll grow out of them in a matter of months. Instead, shop in yard sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops.
If your kids are interested in sports, instruments, or extracurricular activities, buying used is a great way to save money, especially if you’re not sure they’ll stick with it for long. Online marketplaces on platforms and sites like Facebook or eBay are another outlet for buying and selling items locally.
Focus on Your Housing Costs
Housing is without a doubt, the largest expense that most families have to deal with. In a more drastic effort to save money, you could downsize to a smaller home or a home in a cheaper area. Alternatively, you could also consider retirement planning by getting a rental once your kids are old enough to leave for college.
But if that’s not an immediate option for you, try saving on heating and cooling costs by lowering the temperature automatically when you leave the house or using the AC less.
Have a Discussion With Your Kids
Taking the stress of money-saving by yourself isn’t a good idea. It might affect your mental and physical health, and lower your performance at work.
Not going into the details, talk to your kids about your income and home expenses. Teach them the basics of wisely spending and saving money, and involve them in your regular budgeting discussions.