Leading a frugal lifestyle can be difficult at the best of times, but having a family can make it seem like an impossible feat. After all, everyone knows that kids are expensive and while denying them certain luxuries may help your account balance, it can also make you feel like a bad parent even though in reality that is far from true.
However, it is possible to keep the whole family satisfied and save money if you follow some basic guidelines. It’s really not that difficult, but you have to learn to be creative and start thinking outside the box. This is why we are bringing you the top five tips on boosting your budget and how to become both a happy and frugal family.
Earn money online
In the modern world, there are countless ways to make additional money that don’t include getting a second full job or selling off your valuables. Thanks to the internet, these opportunities are just a mouse click away. If you are wondering how to get paid online, it can be as easy as sitting back in your chair and doing surveys while sipping a cup of coffee on your break or early in the morning when you are making breakfast for the kids. Alternatively, you can become a freelance proofreader, product reviewer, website/application tester or choose any of the other numerous online jobs that you can easily do even with a busy family schedule.
Jo and Leisa (and a million others), choose to make money online as bloggers. Check out how you can become one too.
Remove unwanted charges
A lot of people tend to glance over their credit and debit card statements and only notice suspicious charges if they involve large sums of money while ignoring small amounts such as membership fees or magazine subscriptions that are automatically renewed every year and continue to be charged even though you may not realize it. A few dollars here and there doesn’t sound much, but they add up and over the course of a year can end up costing you several hundreds of dollars, which is why it’s important to review your statements in detail and get rid of these charges as soon as possible.
Get rid of spam mail
We are bombarded daily with countless emails that contain various offers, catalogues and notifications on flash sales we never really asked for in the first place. And while most of the time we simply ignore or delete them, sometimes temptation gets the better of us and we end up spending our hard earned money on something we don’t really need. It’s best to remove temptation from the equation and unsubscribe from any mailing lists you don’t need. However, some email accounts get flooded with so much spam that it’s easier to set up a second account that you will only use for personal and professional correspondence and take steps to avoid receiving spam in the future.
Shop at second-hand stores
Second-hand stores may have a bit of a stigma attached to them, but in reality, they are excellent money savers when it comes to buying clothes, particularly for children. Think about it, kids either wear out or grow out of their clothes quite quickly, so there’s no need to buy them clothes at overpriced stores if they will end up getting them dirty and/or torn while playing anyway. You can even find nicer clothes that they can wear for special occasions for a fraction of the price of what you would pay in a regular shop.
I have been known to get quite a few really good items of clothing, furniture, and other household items from second-hand stores.
A good way to stay motivated when you feel you are wavering is to set up a reward for sticking to your budget as an incentive. For example, once or twice a month you can take your family to a restaurant and treat yourselves to a nice meal, but only if you’ve met your budget goals. You can find a lot of family-friendly restaurants that won’t charge you an arm and a leg which means your reward won’t become counterproductive. This gives you something to look forward to each month and serves as quality family time.
You are free to choose as a family, what type of rewards you will use. You can even save up rewards for bigger and better thing like holidays away, even.
This is a guest post that has been kindly contributed by Claire Adams.