Helpful Habits For Cash-Strapped Parents

We all want more money to play with, and to provide the most comfortable life possible for our families. However, with all the necessities you need to cover as a parent, it can seem like there’s never enough to go around. It may not always feel like it, but your financial freedom is largely within your hands. The following is a list of easy and effective ways for cash-strapped parents to make their money go further…

 

 

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Get Familiar with your Fees

The first step towards greater financial freedom is becoming more familiar with your recurring fees, and cutting out everything possible. Dig out your most recent phone, credit card, and bank statements. Are there any fees that come as a surprise? If so, make a call to the provider and ask them for more details. By making sure you know exactly what you’re being charged, and the reasons behind this, you’ll be able to avoid certain fees in the future, and save a lot of money. In some cases, it may be worth the hassle of switching banks, phone networks or credit cards to wave goodbye to certain fees.

Compare Everything

One great habit to get into is shopping around more for the best price on absolutely everything. From utility companies to insurers, and even everyday things like groceries, the web is bursting with resources you can use to compare your options, and settle on the most affordable one. Once you find a retailer or service provider that offers the best price on whatever you need, looking for coupon codes for that business through sites like DontPayFull.com can give you some incredible discounts, making your frugal choices even cheaper!

Learn to Live Without

Like most parents, you’ve probably told your kids several times that they can’t have everything. However, a lot of us fail to practice what we preach in this respect! One of the simplest ways to free up more of your money is forcing yourself to live without some kind of luxury – a TV subscription, for instance, for a fixed period of time. When that time’s up, these luxuries will feel so much more luxurious, and you may even find that you can go without them indefinitely. You don’t really have to make any dramatic changes to your lifestyle, but little sacrifices here and there can make all the difference to how far the rest of your money goes.

Automate your Savings

Like many people, you might have an issue with self-discipline when it comes to saving the money you know you should. One of the best ways around this issue is making saving money automatic, and then forgetting about it. Log into your online banking, and then set a recurring monthly transfer of whatever you want to be saving from your checking account to your savings. Once you get paid, the money will be instantly diverted, and you’ll be at far less risk of overspending up until your next paycheque. Of course, nothing’s stopping you from dipping into your savings, but getting into the habit of thinking about your checking account as all your money will get your savings growing consistently.

Plan your Meals for the Week

Groceries make up a pretty sizable expense for any family household, but you can mitigate the cost by planning out your meals on a weekly basis. The guiding principle here is buying in bulk, and stretching the food you take home as much as possible. For example, you could plan to have a chicken Caesar salad for lunch the day after you roast a whole chicken for dinner. Planning ahead like this will help you cut down impulse buying, save time, and ensure your whole family is eating healthily.

Re-Discover Packed Lunches

Continuing with our point about planning meals ahead, you can also avoid spending too much on that convenient deli around the corner, or your kids’ school cafeteria, by re-discovering packed lunches and making this a part of your weekly grocery shop. Make a nightly habit of preparing and packing lunches for you and the kids, or better yet, teaching them how to do it themselves. You’re going to miss your favorite junk food lunches for the first few days, but it won’t take long for you to get in the swing of preparing and packing your own lunches. The odd time when you do go for convenience food, it will feel like much more of a treat as well!

Try these tips out, and soon enough you’ll be enjoying much more financial freedom!

 

Anne

I’m a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I’m on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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