Taking care of a household in the 21st century is everything but cheap, and it might seem like money just keeps vanishing into thin air while you’re juggling grocery shopping, paying all the bills and occasionally going on a holiday.
However, a lot of money can be saved along the way if you plan a little more meticulously. Having a few tricks up your sleeve won’t hurt either, so if you are looking to save more money while keeping up your household, here are a few tips that might help.
Start budgeting – seriously
If your family struggles financially and oftentimes, you can’t even pinpoint where all the money went, it is high time that you learn the art of budgeting. You have to determine how much money is coming in each month and how much exactly is spent. This will make predicting expenses for the following month so much easier. In addition, seeing all the receipts and statements, you might spot things you could’ve spent more wisely on.
After you compare your spending to your income and get a general impression of your budget, you can also start setting concrete goals that will help you cut corners for a better purpose.
Meal planning and grocery shopping
A lot of people make the mistake of going grocery shopping blind. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you will buy a lot of things you don’t actually need. In addition, you might forget something you do need and end up making another round at the grocery store, which leads to even more unnecessary spending.
So, what you should do each week is to create a meal plan for the next week. This will allow you to determine what exactly you need to buy. Another tip for cutting back on unnecessary grocery shopping is carrying cash instead of a card. This way, you have a limited amount of money with you and fighting the temptation will be much easier.
Join reward programs
Nowadays, many companies have rewards programs that might come in handy when you’re trying to save money. You have probably rejected joining tons of such programs when you were asked at the register. However, for stores that you frequent regularly, having one of those magical cards can save you so much money.
At some stores, being a member rewards you with points for each purchase, and you can ultimately use those points for big discounts. At other stores, you can get a small discount on every product by simply being a member. Joining these programs is free so you can only benefit from them.
Sell things you don’t use
So far we’ve mostly talked about shopping, but what about making a little money on the side? It’s time to sign up for those sites where you can sell used items and give a little boost to your family budget. If you have a lot of old appliances lying around or even some that you have barely used, why not free up space in the most cost-efficient manner?
Even if you have things that no longer work, someone might need them for the parts. You never know what could be useful for another person. So, while this won’t permanently give you a financial boost, if your holiday fund only needs a little push, selling that old refrigerator in the basement sounds like a great idea.
Smart clothes shopping
When you have a lot of family members to dress, clothes shopping can really deplete your bank account. Kids grow out of clothes at the speed of light, so you could consider selling old clothes and perhaps buying some of the new ones second-hand. But even if you still prefer buying clothes new, you have plenty of options where you can save at least some money.
For instance, instead of hitting the mall every other weekend and buying whatever catches your eye, you could also look around for deals on the internet where it will be easier to compare prices and save a lot of money (and time). Just don’t forget to consult a clothing size guide to make sure everything will fit perfectly, and you will find a lot of affordable pieces, especially if you look out for discount codes to use at checkout.
Bring down the bills
Finally, the largest expense of any household is probably the bills that roll in each month. Water and electricity don’t come cheap, and heating and cooling when the weather becomes extreme can really make your bills skyrocket. So, if you are thinking in the long term, it’s worth investing in solutions that will bring down the cost of these utilities.
For instance, look into smart ways of saving electricity – this doesn’t even require large investments. But if you have a bit more to invest for a greater purpose, updating the insulation of your home can do wonders in the long-run.
Cutting down on expenses and trying to find ways to save money is rarely fun, but it will allow you to achieve your financial goals much faster. Good luck!