YES! You have read hundreds and thousands of blog posts that have tips on how to save money as a parent. YES! There are definitely some in here you’ve seen before, but I promise that these ones are not boring, completely expected and dull. Try them out and let me know if I’ve kept my promise…
1. Don’t be disposable
Plastic that is useful only once before dying, rubbish bottled water, baby feeds that come in little boxes – these are expensive and bad for the planet. Ditch them, do your own and save cash. Yes, it takes time to make your own food etc, but it can be done in bulk and you can feel smug about it when you’re done.
2. Be healthy
Say goodbye to fatty foods, baked goods, tons of sugar and ready meals. You save money making your own food anyway and you will save money on dentist bills, doctor bills, prescriptions and all those other things that come with being overweight and unfit. Get out, get exercising and replace sweets with fruit.
3. WANT vs. NEED
You want that gorgeous red dress but you really do not need it. Apply this logic to everything you think of buying or spending money on and soon you’ll see savings add up. You’ll soon forget about the dress/toy/book and the money stays safe in your account.
Dump brands and expensive designer items, especially for kids. They may be quality and not break after only half a season, but when children grow so fast they are just a waste of money. Get one fancy outfit a year, if you must.
5. Lights out
As winter approaches and the bills go up we all start thinking of how expensive things are about to become. Save money by keeping the house at a steady temperature, turning off the lights as you leave the room and refusing to use standby.
6. Secret savings
Start a secret savings account and squirrel away a little cash on a set day every month. Make sure you stick to the day, but pop in any amount you like. Feel free to add unexpected windfalls or extras to the account as you go and be surprised at how it adds up. It is perfect for life’s little emergencies.
7. The deal discount stash
Like the secret savings account, I also have a stash where I put the money I saved when I got a deal. For example, if I bought a Christmas present that was 50% off, I put the money I would have spent into a stash. Not only does it mean I shop as if everything is full price, which stops me from making stupid purchases because they are on sale, but I have an awesome Christmas fund at the end of each year.
8. The loose change monster
I love this. We go around the house once a month with a glass jar and we scoop up all the change that has fallen on the floor, been dropped into bowls, fallen down the side of the sofa and crept away into handbags and pockets. This gets added up once a year and used to buy a family treat.
9. Do it for free
This is for everything. Go to free days out in your area and find them by looking online or in the library or local café. Take picnics to the park or, if it is raining, have them in the bath or somewhere fun and daft at home. Look on freecycle for things you need and go for family walks. Honestly you can do so much for free you can have a fantastic time without spending any money.
10. Use cash
Honestly, debit cards might be convenient but boy do they lull you into a false sense of security. You see, you don’t notice how much you are spending when you whip it out to get things and next thing you know, you’ve spent £500 on coffees, cakes, sweets, treats and random bits and pieces. If you have a cash monthly budget you will be much more careful of how you spend money every day. I still do this and it works a charm.