If you’ve been reading the blog you’ll know that in January I started a family Frugal Living challenge, aimed at cutting back waste, sorting our finances and putting more into our savings and pensions. It can be tricky to balance budgeting with raising a family. Financial security is important for everyone — especially those of us with children.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to manage costs as a parent. Here are four ideas that could help.
Plan Spending in Advance
To stay on top of your finances, why not plan all outgoings in advance? By doing this on a regular basis, you can avoid splashing out on products that you don’t need.
In turn, you could make massive savings. Store a simple cash flow document on your phone to make sure that you can view it anywhere. This way, you can instantly squash that desire to spend impulsively by seeing how it will affect you later in the month.
Instant mobile access is also useful if it feels like you rarely get five minutes to sit down at your laptop or tablet. Let’s face it, that description applies to most of us as parents. But you needn’t let your busy family life get in the way of managing your finances.
Work from Home
If you’re a stay-at-home parent and miss the thrill of work, don’t worry. You can easily transform a passion into a successful home-run business. In fact, self-employment has almost doubled over the past 18 years. As a result, there’s more support than ever available to people who want to make cash by doing what they love.
Do you want to free up your finances, get your teeth stuck into a long-term project, and be there to support the kids? If so, this could be the perfect money-making solution for you? I’ve been a freelancer for nearly 13 years, 9 years full time which is something that I chose to do so that I could still earn and be flexible around my family’s needs.
Prepare for Rainy Days
Nobody knows what the future holds. Sometimes, darker periods can occur. And when they do, it’s useful to have a financial back-up in place. Should an event or issue affect your income, with savings you’re fully prepared to deal with it. With this contingency money, you and your family can remain financially secure whatever the circumstance.
In addition, putting aside small amounts for your retirement could help you to stay financially afloat well into the future. This is what we’re working hard on at the moment.
So long as you contribute regularly to your fund, there’s never been a better time to start saving than now.
Enjoy Free Activities and Days Out
I mentioned this briefly in my Frugal Living February Update blog post. Saving money doesn’t have to be boring and we don’t always need money to have a good time. Free days out can be fun for everyone.
What’s more, you won’t be paying to enter a popular destination – you’ll be doing whatever you’ve arranged solely as a family – so this is also likely to bring you all closer together.
Parenthood can be challenging enough without the stress of financial organisation. But when you know how, you can easily arrange your finances and attend to your family at the same time. Once you’ve dealt with the money side of things, you’ll be able to enjoy life to the full. And this will benefit everyone in the family.