December 6, 2019
Everyone wants to save money, but life is only getting more expensive. Add children into the mix and the cost of living grows exponentially. There’s no need to despair though, because with just a few simple changes you can save lots of money each month. Here are five simple ideas to get started.
First of all, if you haven’t made a monthly or biweekly budget, do so immediately. There are free online budget websites you can use, or you can write one out on paper. It might be easier before you write out your budget to track your spending for a couple of weeks, just to get an idea of where your money is going. After you have made your budget, continue to track your spending and saving. You might need to tweak your budget allotments as you go. It takes some getting used to, but creating a budget is a vital step in keeping your finances healthy.
Subscription-based services and products have inundated the internet. You can get deodorant, toothbrushes, razors, clothes and any number of things delivered to your door on a monthly basis. It is incredibly easy to sign up for these things, and it’s also easy to forget about them. If you’ve fallen for the subscription bug, take stock and see which, if any, of them you actually need. Ten or twenty dollars a month here and there really add up.
Convenience is nice and has its place, but doing things yourself will save a great deal of money, and it gives you a sense of accomplishment and freedom. You also benefit from widening your skillset if you teach yourself how to do various projects. For example, learning how to cut hair is an invaluable and major money-saving skill. There are many hair cutting tutorials online. All you need to start is of pairs of hair cutting scissors, a cape, and perhaps a good electric trimmer. Online videos are also a great resource for learning how to do simple house repairs, car repairs, and virtually anything else.
In the same vein of DIY, preparing your own food is a huge money saver, and as a bonus is almost always healthier than eating out or eating prepared foods. You can make your own bread with just a couple of inexpensive ingredients, which is tastier and healthier than store-bought. Make-ahead breakfast sandwiches are also simple and you can freeze a whole bunch to eat throughout the week. Buy a slow cooker or electric pressure cooker for simple meals on busy days. The internet is an inexhaustible source of free recipes and dinner ideas.
It’s fun to go out to the movies or amusement parks together, but those places are never easy on the budget. With some research, you can probably make a whole list of free or cheap places to go or activities to do as a family in your area. Parks, nature preserves, and even your library are all viable options for places to spend time together without having to spend money. During this holiday season, there are also plenty of parades and neighborhood events. You can also take your family to go see some holiday lights for a free night of fun.