Did you know that the cost of raising just one child in the USA is approximately $227,000 from birth until 18 years of age? That’s a staggering amount of money, which will put a strain on any parent’s finances and is a sound reason why we should all look to put out house in order and trim any excess from our family budgets.
The problem is a lot of the most commonly suggested ways of saving money as a family takes the fun out of family life. They require huge sacrifices that can make life miserable for everyone who tries to implement them. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way, and there are lots of smaller things that we can all do to cut our family budget and still have fun. Check them out:
Make a Meal Plan
If you plan every single meal your family is going to eat in a week, you can save lots of money on your grocery shop by only buying the things you actually need. You can even incorporate a treat or two into the plan and still come out ahead.
Cut the Cable
If cable takes a sizeable chunk out of your wallet each month, it might be time to consider cutting the cord. If cable makes up a large part of your entertainment each month, you don’t have to do without your favorite shows completely. For example, you could call DIRECTV customer service and switch to their satellite service, which is much more affordable, or you could pick up a few streaming subscriptions like Netflix and Hulu for a fraction of the price you’re currently paying.
Have a Staycation
Instead of blowing your budget on a big trip to Disneyland, why not stay in your own state, exploring all your home town and the nearby towns have to offer. There are so many free and low-cost museums, parks and attractions on your own doorstep, that you can keep the kids happy, have a great family time together and spend very little at the same time.
Many moms and dads think that if they buy used goods, they are not doing the best for their kids, but why exactly is that? A used laptop computer, textbook or plastic toy will do exactly the same as a brand new one, and your kid won’t even notice it isn’t new if you don’t tell them, so switch to buying as many used goods as you can and see your expenditure shrink.
Have Fun at Home
Instead of going to the movies or spending the evening bowling, pull out your favorite board games or stream a DVD, pop some corn and have a really fun time at home. The most important thing is that you spend time together – the location is of little importance.
Use Your Local Library
The library is a boon to families on a budget. You can keep yourself and the kids happy with free books, moved, audiobooks and often, even toys, without paying a single penny. If your kids are often bored, get them a library card, and you’ll see an instant change.
What are your tips for saving money as a family?