Money-Saving Tips for Families
The cost of having children has skyrocketed over the past few decades. Parents should prepare to spend an average of roughly $227,000 per child from birth to age 18. That doesn’t include parents who purchase designer baby strollers or contribute to their child’s college expenses, either—we’re just talking about the basics, here! That amount has increased over 40% from just 10 years ago. Daycare and health care costs always seem to be rising, and housing and food is now more expensive than ever before.
Unless you make a lot of money, that price tag may seem daunting. But there are easy things you can do to save money for your family—without requiring a complete lifestyle overhaul to see an actual return. Here are seven tips to save your family some cash:
- Plan your meals. Kids are fussy. And sometimes, a pizza is the easiest way to go when you’ve had a particularly hard day and just don’t feel like cooking. But taking the time to plan your family’s meals is going to make life a lot simpler in the long run, and your wallet will feel the difference. There are thousands of websites out there that offer free weekly and monthly meal planners and simple, healthy recipes that take just a few minutes to prepare. Google these sites and pick out a couple of dozen recipes your family would like. com offers “A Stress-Free Month of Dinners” with plenty of healthy recipes even the fussiest kids will love! Custommealplanner.com even offers meal planning for those families or individuals on special diets, including vegetarian or vegan lifestyles.
- Shop smart! You don’t have to be the “Coupon Queen” (or King!) to save money on groceries! Once you’ve planned out your meals and snacks for the week, make your grocery list accordingly—and stick to it! Avoid going shopping when you’re hungry (you’re more prone to impulse buys) and leave the kiddos at home so that you can stay focused on picking up everything you need for the week. Forgotten items happen, but try to avoid making more than one trip to the store per week to save on time and gas!
- Consider a staycation. You don’t need to spend your entire budget on a trip to Disneyworld every year to make wonderful memories with your family. Consider visiting free and low-cost local attractions; there are probably plenty of parks, hiking trails, and engaging museums right in or near your hometown!
- Buy secondhand. We all know how quickly kids outgrow clothing. So why are you paying full-price for all of it? Infants, toddlers, and young children aren’t generally as “fashion-focused” as older kids, so paying full-price for their clothing makes little sense when they don’t particularly care about how they look. Also, consignment and thrift stores are all the rage now, and they often feature great vintage styles so that even the “fashionistas” in your family can express their individuality. Do a quick Google search and find secondhand stores in your city or town—you’re bound to find some great buys!
- Entertain at home. Family movie and board game nights and lazy Sunday crafting days are wonderful ways to bond with your children for just a few dollars. Consider checking out some fun arts and crafts ideas on Pinterest, and gather up some materials from local discount and dollar stores for a rainy day. When the kids start driving you crazy, you’ll have a fun project on hand to keep them occupied on the cheap. The library is also a great place to visit, as they generally offer regular children’s events and always have lots of movies to borrow!
- Shop around! Regularly shopping around for insurance, cell phone plans, and even cable and internet packages can save you hundreds—or even thousands every year. Regularly re-visit all of your usual bills and make a few phone calls to see how much money you can save. If you’re ever in a temporary financial bind, shop around for personal loans, too! NHCash offers low interest rates and monthly payments on personal loans, with reasonable payback schedules. AND with good payment history, NHCash can help you raise your credit score.
- Save energy. Not every family can afford to install a new low-flow toilet or replace every light bulb in the house with high-efficiency ones. However, by teaching your children to shut off the light whenever they leave a room or instructing them on how to take shorter showers can save you a lot of money over time AND help save our planet!
With a few of these household changes, your family could potentially save hundreds of dollars over the course of a given year, helping you to pay off lingering debts or save for emergencies. If emergencies do happen, and your savings just isn’t enough, be sure to look for personal loan options that are trustworthy and upfront about their interest rates, repayment terms, and help you build your credit. To learn more about NHCash or to apply, visit us at nhcash.com or call 1-888-NHCASH0.