Today, I have the pleasure of bringing you an article from Fehmeen of TopMoneyHacks.com. I've connected with him in the past where he reached out to me on Twitter about quickly saving up money for an emergency fund. He is usually sharing some great info and is very informative!
A family that budgets together, stays together.
Well, not necessarily. But it does help having everyone on board when money is tight.
Parents must drastically change their budgeting goals with the addition of each new family member, a task that seems daunting to most. Today, we look at some money saving techniques families can implement without putting in a lot of effort and hopefully give you some ideas you can put into action today!
Want to get rich? Save.
1. How much to save.
There isn't really a fixed standard here because each family faces different circumstances and pursues a unique lifestyle. You can determine your own saving ratio by recording your expenses and income for a couple of months, and and seeing how much of your money you are keeping versus spending.
There isn't a cap on the percentage of money you should or can save, but there's definitely a floor. If you're living paycheck to paycheck and relying on consumer debt to cover your monthly expenses, you need to change a few things to introduce stability in your financial life. It is important to note that any budgeting efforts you make will be emulated by your children as adults, so the extra work is worth the hassle.
Related Post: Things I've Given Up To Save Money
2. Save first, spend later.
It's a lot easier to use up one's income as soon as the paycheck arrives and save any leftover money at the end of the month. Meeting saving goals is very difficult this way, however.
It is far better, according to financial advisers, to set aside your savings first and confine your spending to the leftover money. It's also a good idea to keep the savings in a separate bank account without a debit or ATM card so the money stays safe from impulsive shopping.
Related Post: Saving Money – A Common Goal: How To Create Better Goals
Wardrobe Budgeting for adults and kids - Recycle and Reshuffle
3. Recycle your wardrobe.
Gone are the days when we could get through the year with a black and white dress. Think: industrial age. Fashion trends encourage us to make additions to our wardrobes every few months and that can be expensive.
Lots of people have a knack for recycling their old clothes and make them look as good as new. A friend of mine used to cut up her son's old jeans and convert them into Bermuda shorts. Another lady used her skills as a seamstress and successfully converted her husband’s old formal dress shirt into a trendy top for herself.
Editor's Note: Another way that our family does this is by reusing the clothes for our younger daughter, whose 3, after the older one has outgrown it.
4. Reshuffle your wardrobe.
If recycling your clothes seems too daunting, you can easily save a lot of money by reshuffling them instead. Invest in a couple of pants in neutral colors that are easy to pair up with a variety of shirts so your overall outfit looks new because of different combinations of textures, colors and prints.
This tip can work during winters too. Buy a couple of coats or jackets that can be paired up with different pants/tights. Whatever top you choose to wear underneath will probably stay hidden.
Controlling your food budget
5. Home lunches
If your child's school or your office offers free nutritious lunches, you've hit the jackpot. However, if you're charged for the food, consider making home cooked meals instead because they are a lot cheaper to manage, at the cost of minor inconvenience.
6. Value for money at a restaurant
One way to cut your food bill is to limit the number of visits to restaurants and fancy hotels. However, when you do go, order menu items that offer greater value for your money. Sandwiches, food wraps and some starters cost less per portion compared to meaty dishes like steaks. You may not leave the restaurant feeling stuffed till your throat, but you won't feel unfulfilled either. I personally prefer to order nachos and quesadillas if they're on the menu. Happy taste buds, happy tummy, happy wallet, happy me.
7. Carry your own water
I may sound like a miser here, but bottled water at restaurants is unacceptably expensive. If you're the type who must drink water during a meal, or if your kids cannot swallow their bites without a sip of water, carry a small flask of water with you. If the waiter fusses, you can tell him/her it's for your kids because they don't like the taste of bottled water. It's true - bottled water tastes a bit off.
8. Limit trips to the store
This is possibly the easiest way to cut down unnecessary/impulsive purchases. Plan to buy non-perishable grocery items once a month, and perishable items once a week. If something runs out before your next scheduled trip, find a way to manage without it. For instance, if you buy a couple of meat packs on Sunday and consume them before the next weekend, instead of heading out to the shop to buy more portions, cook vegetables or other types of meals for the rest of the week.
House maintenance budget cuts
9. Paper Towels, be gone!
It may not seem like a big expense, but the purchase of paper towels(those long tissue rolls we conveniently use to wipe different surfaces in the kitchen) can be avoided if you use small absorbent rags or towels instead. Yes, they can turn into bacteria ecosystems, but not if you wash them each night in a bit of soap and hang them out to dry.
10. Upholstery woes
No matter what color or texture your sofa upholstery is, if you have kids at home or regularly host parties, you are bound to end up with a few stains and scratches on your sofa set. The easy (and expensive) remedy is to re-upholster or change your furniture altogether, but the frugal solution is to cover or hide the stains with cushions, throws or blankets for as long as realistically possible.
11. DIY cleaning supplies
These days, we are faced with an unlimited choice of cleaning products sitting on Walmart shelves, promising to make our home squeaky clean and smelling as fresh as the morning air. They may deliver on their promises but also deliver a small dent into our wallets over the years. A very practical homemade cleaning solution can be make with a bit of vinegar and baking soda. Not only is this cheap, it's free from dangerous chemicals and has anti-bacterial properties. Of course, this tip may not appeal to everyone, and that's fine. But if you're worried about the cost of cleaning products, consider making your own with one of the hundreds of recipes you can find online.
That's all I have for now. Do you use any other easy budgeting tips? Please share them below!
Are you ready to finally take control of your finances? Let my budgeting spreadsheets help!
Just fill out the form below and I'll send you the link to get the same exact budgeting spreadsheets that I use each month!
Included in the workbook:
- Monthly budget form
- Breakdown of savings form (for your sinking funds)
- Overview of your financial plan
I've been using these same forms since August 2011 and have grown my family's net worth 500% tracking our money using these forms!
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