Raising a family is one of the greatest things you’ll ever do. However, it’s also one of the most expensive. If you aren’t careful with your finances, you may find yourself having a hard time getting ahead or planning for retirement. Save money on the smaller, everyday expenses with these helpful finance tips for families.
Plan Your Dinners
Many families choose to eat out every night because it’s convenient and fits into their busy, on-the-go lifestyle. However, eating fast food every night is only unhealthy for your body, but also unhealthy for your wallet. Instead of stopping for fast food, plan out your meals in advance. By planning your suppers, you can save some prep time when you get home after a long day and you spend less on dining out. If you’re not good at organizing meals in advance, utilize a free online organizer, which can provide you with healthy meal options and helpful recipes.
Invest in Reusable Products
It’s easy to use paper towels, water bottles, and disposable razors because you think they’re cheap and save you money. However, not only are you adding to the landfill problem, but you may be spending more in the long run. Instead of using paper towels, or example, turn old t-shirts into rags you can use again and again, and use glass bottles in lieu of plastic ones for your beverages. They’re cheaper over the long run and you’re doing your part to help the planet.
Organize a Staycation
Rather than blowing your finances on a big family trip overseas, a cruise, or a fancy all-inclusive, see what fun stuff you can have closer to home. You can save thousands of dollars by having a staycation. Travel to an adjacent town to find fun activities to do, or check the paper for free local events in your area that you and your family can do together. You’ll still be able to make lasting memories without a hefty dent to your wallet.
Entertain at Home
Organize a family board game night, potluck dinner, scrapbooking night, or barbecue for your loved ones and enjoy playing host. It’s a lot cheaper than night on the town and you don’t’ have to worry about crowds, overpriced drinks, or expensive popcorn at the movies. You may even be able to get your friends on board with the idea of taking turns hosting events at each other’s homes to save money while still having fun.
Purchase Used Items
Purchasing pre-owned items may seem like a bad idea, but you can find a lot of nice things for sale that are much cheaper than buying new at the store. Children’s toys, clothes, and books are a great example of items that you can get secondhand to save you extra cash. Check out your local online yard sale sites, and you may be amazed at what you can get for little cash that’s still in great condition.
Making a family budget may not sound like fun, but it is important in helping you understand your monthly cash flow and discretionary income. There are online budgeting tools that can make it easier to get started. When you’re putting together a budget, you may identify areas you can save and increase your discretionary income.
Being financially savvy can benefit your family and help you prepare for larger future events, such as your children’s college education or your retirement. The more you save now, the better off you’ll be in the future.