Making our money stretch can be a challenge, and it can be hard to keep track of where it gets spent.
However, if you take a little time to understand where your money is going, you may find it easier to cut back. Here are 7 ways you could improve your family finance.
- Change energy provider
Many energy providers offer great introductory rates and then bump the prices up or switch you to a higher tariff when the introductory rate ends. Be aware of what contracts you sign up for and when they are due for renewal. Shop around each year to ensure you get the best offers.
- Save energy
Get your family into the habit of switching off lights and appliances when they are not in use. Encourage them to take shorter showers to save water, and instead of driving everywhere, walk short distances to cut down petrol costs.
- Check your bank statements
Check your bank statements to make sure that you don’t have any direct debits or standing orders set up that you no longer need, such as gym membership or TV subscriptions.
- Use cashback websites or apps
If you shop online, use cashback sites. Some sites even pay cash back when you shop instore if you link your debit card or record the receipts. You can also find free discount vouchers and offers for restaurants, making it cheaper to eat out.
- Get the children involved
Try involving your children in the family finances when they are old enough to understand. If you are saving for something big like a holiday or a birthday party, explain they may have to go without some little treats so that you can afford the big treat. Doing this not only gets them on board with cutting back, but it also teaches them good money management skills which will help them in the future.
- Use a money jar
Make saving money fun by introducing a money jar. Choose a coin of a small denomination such as 5p or 10p. Every time someone gets one of those coins in their change, they pop it into the money jar. You’ll be surprised how quickly it can add up, and the children will enjoy counting it all at the end of the year.
- Use cash
Paying by card makes it difficult to keep track of spending, and you can easily go over budget when you are out and about. Instead, withdraw cash when you are going out for the day or going shopping. Withdraw the amount you need, and stick to the rule of ‘when it’s gone, it’s gone’. This will help you keep within the budget you have set.
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