4 Tips for Freeing Up Your Finances

4 Tips for Freeing Up Your Finances

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.

 

New Baby Arrival: Getting Ready

New Baby Arrival: Getting Ready

First of all, no, Roy and I are NOT expecting a new baby. This is one of those useful guides for readers things, not anything to do with expanding our awesome foursome family. For those of you who are expecting, these tips might help.

Set Your New Baby Budget

Babies need things but their actual needs are quite simple. How fancy a new nursery will be, how large their first year wardrobe and what pram/pushchair they travel in will be will depend on your budget. Before you go ahead with planning out the nursery and everything you want in it, you really do need to get your money in order. It is a good idea to make a budget so that you can figure out exactly how much cash you are going to have. 

Baby Kit

Make a list of what your baby will need for those first weeks and months. It may seem overwhelming, the amount of things you need to buy for your baby’s arrival but once you’ve broken it down it seem easier to manage. Once you have the essentials, i.e clothes, wipes, a cot and even nappies too then you can start saving or thinking about luxury nursery furniture and fancy pushchairs. Get the must-haves before the really wants,

Birth Plan

Believe it or not, writing down your birth plan can be a huge help. It can also help you to get the best experience out of your whole pregnancy. It is important to write down the pain relief you are going to opt for when you do give birth and any other possibilities that may be available. One of the best pieces of advice I can give you as a mother of two is to be prepared to be flexible though. You don’t know how you will feel on the day so don’t feel that you can’t change your mind.

Your Hospital Bag

Babies do have a habit of not arriving when they are meant to. This is why you should have a hospital bag which is ready to go a few weeks before you are actually due. Your other half may also want to pack their own hospital supplies as well. This is in case you end up staying in hospital longer than you anticipate, and your other half wants to stay in the room with you. Another top tip? Alongside very comfy PJs and big knickers for your maternity pads (it’s all very glamorous) pack food. Seriously, I cannot stress this strongly enough. Labour and birth is exhausting. New babies are exhausting. It can be hard work and unlike your other half or birth partner, who can go and get a big beef curry from the canteen, you will be stuck on the ward for the majority so be prepared.

New Baby Car Seat

If you have a vehicle then you need to have a car seat that is properly fitted. This will give you the chance to take your bundle of joy home right from the hospital. You need to take the time to find the right model, style and even design that you are happy with. There are so many options out there for you to choose from and again, you may find this overwhelming but when you put everything into categories you will soon find something that you are comfortable with. It will also make it much easier for you to feel better about the big day as well. If you need some help with choosing one, then there are plenty of support guides on the internet. Don’t buy second-hand though as unless you are 100% sure it hasn’t been in an accident, even a little something minor, you can’t be sure of how safe it is.

Gosh, sharing these top tips is bringing everything back. I should re-write my birth stories I think, they make for good/amusing reading. 🙂

 

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