6 Totally Manageable Ways to Save Money as a Family

Written by Karen Bryan

When you have a child, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by how much extra cash you need to dedicate to your expenses each month. Most consumers around the UK today are already scrambling to make their cash go further. Bring a kid into the mix, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

The good news is that if you’re committed to living a more frugal lifestyle, there are plenty of things you can do to get more control over your cash.

Here, we’re going to look at some easy ways that you can save money as a family, without trying to accomplish too much, too fast.

Organise your Food Shopping

How much unused food do you throw away each month? If the answer is more than “nothing,” it’s time to get more control over your shopping habits. Start by creating a list of items you need before you go to the supermarket each week and take an envelope with you that includes only the money you need for those items. This will prevent you from accidentally overspending when you’re tempted by a treat at the checkout counter.

You could even try doing your food shopping online if you think that means you’ll be less tempted by “extras” when you’re taking your trolley through the aisles.

Get Rid of one Surplus Service a Year

If cutting things out of your budget makes you feel overwhelmed and restricted, try taking things more slowly. There’s a good chance that you have at least one unused service that you’re spending money on each year for no reason. That could be the gym membership that you got with the best intentions or a phone landline that you haven’t used for months!

Ever year, or even every six months, take a closer look at your bank statements to figure out whether you can make some extra cash by cancelling something that you don’t really need. The chances are that you won’t even miss these things.

Stop buying off the shelf

Buying off the shelf rarely gives you the best deal. That’s why it’s so important to shop around for the things you want and need these days. That doesn’t just mean comparing your options when you want to buy a new car or TV either. Make sure you look at comparison websites for your insurance and loans too.

Comparing loans online via sites like Readies.co.uk can save you hundreds, if not thousands of pounds in interest costs and fees. All it takes is a few minutes to fill out a form and check out what’s available. Remember to keep going back and re-comparing your services in the future too, to determine whether you should switch providers in the future.

Sell the Things You No Longer Need

Rather than just throwing away the items that you no longer use, why not see whether someone would be willing to take them off your hands for a small fee instead? Instead of just having an old-fashioned garage sale, try listing your items on local Facebook selling groups or putting them eBay, you’ll get much more exposure to buyers this way. You’d be surprised how much you can sell online, from furniture and old clothes that your kids have grown out of, to unwanted birthday presents and more. You can even find websites that allow you to trade in gift cards that you don’t want for cold hard cash too.

Always Buy Second Hand If You Can

Don’t be afraid to be one of the people online looking for those second-hand bargains either. There are plenty of great items you can get for several hundred pounds less than sticker price if you don’t mind giving them a quick clean before you use them.

Whether it’s clothes or electronics, a second-hand item can save you a lot of cash. Of course, you don’t want to go second-hand for everything – like pillows or underwear. However, most things will be fine if they’re available online or in a charity store.

Avoid Credit Cards

While credit cards can come with a handful of benefits, like potential mileage and rewards schemes, they usually cause more problems that they solve. A lot of people see their credit card as an extension of their money, which means that it’s a lot easier for them to go over your budget.

If you can avoid using a credit card and stick exclusively to cash and debit cards, you’ll improve your relationship with money, and force yourself to be stricter about how you spend. This could reduce your risk of impulse buying in the future.