Quick Money Hacks for Frugal Families
When you first started your family, you probably knew that you were going to have to make a few significant changes to your budget. Of course, many people don’t know just how expensive caring for a family can be. Not only do you have the regular monthly expenses to think about like your mortgage payments and utility expenses, but there are countless unexpected costs to cater for too.
The good news is that there are a few ways that you can improve your financial situation without having to track every penny. If you’re worried about living from payday to payday, this article could provide the tips you need.
1. Know How Much to Save
If you want to improve your financial strategy and ensure that you’re always prepared to deal with unexpected events, then you need to save. There isn’t a fixed standard for how much you should save, because each family has their own specific circumstances to deal with. The best thing you can do is look into calculating your own savings ratio by recording your expenses for a few months and seeing how much you spend, versus how much you earn.
If you’re struggling to stretch from one payday to the next, and there’s nothing left in your budget for an emergency fund, then it’s time to cut out some luxuries and make some compromises. Remember, it might be tough, but it’s an important way to keep your family safe and teach valuable lessons to your youngsters.
2. Quit the Work/ School Lunches
It’s easy to overlook just how much you can spend by eating at the work café or giving your child money to buy their food at school. If your child gets free school lunches, then make sure that you’re getting the most out of them. On the other hand, packed lunches for both work and school can be a great way to reduce expenses.
Even making sure that you take the same re-usable bottle of water to work each day can be a great way to reduce the amount you spend on drinks from the vending machine.
3. Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies
With a family to look after, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to give up on buying cleaning supplies every so often, but you can significantly reduce your spending with a little creativity. Rather than shelling out for the countless products that claim to make your surfaces and home crystal clean, consider making your own extra-strength supplies at home.
You’d be surprised how effective mixing white vinegar with baking soda can be. There are plenty of other concoctions you can make with lemon and other substances too. Not only is making your own supplies cheap, but it’s also a great way to avoid dangerous chemicals and toxic byproducts.
4. Trust Your Technology
It’s safe to say that technology is pretty much everywhere today. Whether you’re using a fitness app to track your steps, or you have a fancy thermostat that automatically changes the temperature in your property when you come home, tech is sure to play a part in your life. It makes sense to use it for your budgeting strategy too. There are plenty of apps out there that can help you to calculate your spending habits and make the most out of every penny.
You can also look into apps that automatically calculate how much money you can afford to put aside each week, so you can start to build up your savings strategy.
5. Cut the Costs of Debt
If you have debts to handle each month, then that’s yet another issue you need to think about when you’re trying to plan how to spend your money. Debts can consume the last of your money and make it hard to put any extra cash away into an emergency fund. The good news is that cutting your debt costs can make everything else a lot easier to handle – and it isn’t as tough as you’d think.
When debts start interfering with your life, look at restructuring your debt or using consolidation loans to make them more manageable. Loan comparison sites such as Readies.co.uk can help you get a better deal on most common loan types.
6. Get Rid of Things You Don’t Use
Finally, one of the easiest ways to minimise your expenses and get the most out of your budget is to stop paying for things that you aren’t using in the first place. If you hold onto your gym membership just because it makes you feel like you’re doing something useful, get rid of it. If you spend all your time watching Netflix but pay for channels on your TV each month, do something about it.