We could all do with implementing ways and means on how to save money into our daily lives; allowing us to have that little bit of extra money to pay off outstanding debt, save or invest at the end of each month. Having money to put in to a savings account is not always easy, so here are a number of tips on how you can cut your household expenses and start thinking about investing in your family’s future.
Organising Your Family’s Financial Life
Creating a system for tracking and paying bills will help you avoid accidentally paying late. Credit card companies especially can have really high penalties for missing a payment, but staying organised can solve this problem.
Having family members track their daily expenses in notebooks is another way to stay organised and save money. Studies have shown that tracking where your money is going is crucial to changing spending behaviour. So if you are trying to cut expenses, having everyone keep a log is a great first step to take.
Cutting Food Costs
In the past cutting and storing coupons was a pain, but many coupons are now available online. Pay attention to weekly savings at your particular store as well as coupons for national brands, but don’t use coupons as an excuse to purchase something you wouldn’t ordinarily use or need.
Buying in bulk can save you money if you have a larger family and/or have plenty of room to store larger purchases. Bulk purchases can have an added environmental benefit too because the products typically have less packaging.
Starting a garden is another way to cut food costs, and can become a fun family project. If you don’t have a yard, you could consider renting a community garden plot or joining a CSA (community supported agriculture) group. CSA’s typically provide weekly or biweekly lots of in-season produce in return for a subscription fee.
Saving Money on Clothing
It is possible to save a ton of money on children’s clothing through hand-me downs from other siblings, friends and neighbours. For adults who need to look professional, consignment shops provide higher quality clothing at a fraction of what a new wardrobe would cost. Additional options include shopping in the sales and visiting outlet shops. Also, avoiding brand name items of clothing and footwear can net substantial savings.
Alternative Methods of Saving
When money is tight, it can be difficult to build up your family’s savings as the bills need to be paid and the kids need to be looked after financially. Having said this, saving even small amounts of money wherever possible can lead to a healthily growing figure in your savings account. Using alternative methods of saving, such as the soon to be launched Zopa’s Peer to Peer ISA’s could prove to be extremely beneficial as they may provide high interest rates and solid returns, and every little helps when trying to build a savings fund for your family’s future. An ISA is an Individual Savings account and it is free of tax on the interest you earn. This means you could get a better return on your savings than in a traditional bank, but the rate will vary so keep your eye on things at least once a year. Remember this is for the long term so even a small amount saved monthly will grow into a big difference.
While it may not seem like each of these tips will save you and your family a lot of money, small changes can add up quickly, especially if every member of the family is fully involved. Consistently saving and investing even relatively small amounts for your family’s future can really pay off big over time.