Thursday, December 8, 2016

Just Getting By With Kids? Try These Money-Saving Tricks

Did you know that the cost of raising a child to age 21 now stands at a whopping $300,000? That’s a lot of money! As a result, if you’ve got kids, you know how stretched your finances can become. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of ways to save. Check out some of these ideas covering everything from life insurance to cheap clothes. 



Get Life Insurance While You’re Young


Around one in thirty children lose a parent before they leave full-time education. It’s a sobering fact of life, but one that’s worth thinking about if you’ve got kids. How will they look after themselves when you’re gone?





Many parents choose to take out life insurance. The cheapest form of life insurance right now is level term life assurance. It pays out a fixed amount to your dependents and relies on two keywords, term, and level. The “term” part of it means that you’ll only get a payout if you die within a certain period of time, say 21 years. The “level” part means that your payout is limited to a set amount, usually based on the contributions you put in. Often this amount is set at around $200,000, but you can fiddle about with premiums, making it higher or lower. 


Take The Family To Free TV Show Recordings




Taking the family out to the theme park or the cinema on a Saturday evening can often end up costing more than a day’s worth of income with you badly need for other things. So instead of spending money on days out that you can’t afford, why not find days out that are free. TV shows are being recorded all the time, and they’re always looking for TV audiences. Game Shows and quizzes are especially keen to find people to populate their studios. TV shows are usually free to attend. Just search online for “free TV tickets” and see if anything comes up that you think your family might be interested in. 


Take A Trip To The Museum



Thanks to public money, there are plenty of free public art galleries and museums in big, metropolitan cities. What’s more, these venues are an excellent way to get some brain-boosting material into your kids’ brains. Museums cover everything from science to football, providing fun and engaging exhibits throughout. 


Switch Utility Providers


Utility price comparison websites have been around for a while now, yet many families still aren't using them to save money. According to studies by industry experts, the average family could be missing out on $400 worth of savings per year on their utility bills. 

The utility comparison websites know that one of the reasons more people don’t switch is because of the perception that switching is a hassle. As a result, these sites often do as much of the legwork as they can for you, making sure that you are able to access the best deals. 

It’s a good idea once you’ve found the cheapest deal out there to continue to monitor your energy bills. Often energy companies will increase the bills over time, after having enticed you with a teaser rate. Keep checking back on the price comparison website to see whether the tariff you’re on is actually the cheapest. Alternatively, set up an alert that tells you as soon as rates change or that you’re no longer on the cheapest tariff. 


Put Together A Family Budget


As sites like https://personalmoneystore.com point out, having a family budget is important. With bills, holidays and living costs, the average family’s finances are regularly stretched. Many families find that by the end of the month, they don’t quite have enough money to make ends meets.





Fortunately, there is a solution: building a family budget. There are all sorts of free family budget planner tools around online, allowing families to see exactly where all their cash is going. But planners can only take families so far: they’re not able to make changes to your finances directly. 


It’s a good idea, therefore, to give yourself a money makeover. This is where you look for all the ways that you’re spending money to find places where money is being wasted or opportunities to save. Sometimes it’s even a good idea to take a day off work because taking stock of your finances can net you a lot more money in the long run. 

Eat Food That’s Past It’s “Best Before” Date


The “best before” date on food is different to the “use by” date, but most kids don’t understand the difference. Best before just means that the food will be at its best until a given date, meaning that it’s perfectly edible for a couple of days afterward. Use by dates are different - they say that food has to be eaten before a specified date, after which it is unsafe. It’s a good idea to educate kids about the difference before they start throwing away perfectly edible food. 


You can also check out websites that help give families great ideas about what to do with leftovers. There are thousands of recipes dedicated to dealing with the aftermath of roast dinners, especially turkey dinners around Christmas time. 


Get Two For One At The Zoo

Going to the zoo is a lot of fun for kids, but it also costs a lot of money. You could pay more than $100 for a family ticket for the day. However, for those who look hard enough, there are savings to be made. Take a look online to see if there are any discount vouchers available for your local zoo. Often you’ll find two-for-one deals, as well as vouchers that allow kids under a certain age to go free. 

Get Kids’ Presents For Under $10


Christmas and birthdays can end up being very expensive. The average family spends more than $500 on gifts at Christmas every year. But there are now dozens of websites online where you can get cheap present ideas, all for under $10. No, you might not be able to get exactly what your kids want for that price, but you should at least be able to find all the stocking-fillers you need to make the big day special. 

It’s important to remember that young children don’t value gifts based on price; they value them on how much enjoyment they can get out of them. You’ve often heard it said that children prefer to play with the wrapping than the gifts themselves. One favorite is the balloon box. Here you get a big box and fill it up with blown up balloons. Watch your kids have fun for hours, all for having spent less than a couple of dollars. 


Grab Kid’s Clothing Bargains At Cheap Online Outlets


Kid’s clothing isn’t expensive because children have expensive taste. It’s expensive because they’re always growing out of their old clothes. It’s a good idea, therefore, to look for as many ways to save money on clothing as possible. Fortunately, there are now a large number of super cheap online outlets that regularly sell kids’ clothing at a discount. Places like Littlewoods, Boden and SoleTrader regularly have discount offerings for kids. 




It’s also worth taking a look at clothing discount deals pages, where clothing deals from all over the web are bundled together on a single page. 

Compare Prices With Shopbot


If you regularly buy things like DVDs, books, and games online for your family, you could save money using bots. Bots are essentially programs that scan the prices of different websites to see whether lower prices are available elsewhere. These bots help to take the mousework out of online shopping. There’s a bot at http://www.megashopbot.com/

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