To the average Papua New Guineans, figuring out how to save money while raising a family is no small feat. The average cost of raising a child born in today’s world until ready to be independent is quite a fortune. Whether you’ve got one child or a growing brood, it pays to consider ways to save money on family expenses. Check out these money-saving tips for families:
1. Focus on food costs
Figuring out how to save money while raising a family can seem difficult when your grocery bill is sky-high. Adding some structure into your family’s eating habits and planning meals are ways to save money on family expenses.
Annie Delosa, an expatriate in East New Britain, financial coach, mom of three and administration manager of a downstream processing company, says she plans breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for her staff weekly. She shops for groceries once a week, based on her meal plan, which includes salads and fresh vegetables. She also uses cash for grocery shopping so there’s no temptation to pick up extras. Giving yourself a cash limit can keep you from going over budget, whereas it may be easier to overspend if you’re swiping a debit or ATM card instead.
2. Keep birthdays and other parties simple
Birthdays or anniversaries can be a source of dread if you’re worried about the cost. In the Philippines, especially in the highland city of Baguio, smart families tend to give emphasis on making memories, not spending money to make the affair luxurious.
“One of the best birthday celebrations was spent on a picnic at Rebiamul and having friends over, which was low-cost option for me,” an Able Mt. Hagen staff says. She suggests taking advantage of no-cost or inexpensive activities for kids parties, like spending a day at the park with mumu and cake.
According to financial advisors, if your affair is set on a specific venue, you may be able to save by booking at an off-peak time or having a joint party with another and splitting the cost. Keeping the guest list small means less to plan and is a good money-saving tip for families.
3. Give secondhand a chance
Buying new children’s clothes and shoes can be a money-wasting mistake. Shopping consignment shops, thrift stores and yard sales, or hosting a clothing swap with another family, are simple money-saving tips for families.
You can also check out online marketplaces to buy and sell items locally, or scope out what people are selling in your local bargains group on social media. These same outlets are also great for reselling clothes, shoes, toys, books and anything else your kids have outgrown.
Buying used is also a way to save money on family expenses if your kids are involved in sports or extracurricular activities. Online shops are excellent resources for finding used sporting gear and musical equipment. You could consider borrowing musical instruments if you’re not sure whether your child will stick with it for the long term.
4. Choose frugal fun
Vacations and entertainment are two big budget traps for families. According to most financial advisors, one of the easiest ways to save money on family expenses in these areas is to stop overthinking. Entertainment or travel doesn’t have to be extravagant to be fun and memorable.
Most parents think that if it doesn’t consist of this or that then their kids won’t have a great family memory, but the truth is, kids just want to be kids. A family weekend camping trip, which does not cost much and is simple, is the way to go.
Swapping out a trip to the movies or an amusement park with a bike ride or a river picnic are money-saving tips for families that don’t require a huge lifestyle overhaul. If you don’t have the budget for a pricey vacation, try an inexpensive staycation at home. Pitch a tent in the backyard or be a tourist in your hometown. In addition to museums, state parks and historical sites often have low or no admission fees, and you can save even more by packing a lunch instead of eating out.
5. Hack your housing costs
Housing is likely to be your largest expense as a family, and there are several money-saving tips for families so you can trim these costs. You could install a programmable thermostat to keep your heating and cooling costs down. Set the thermostat to lower the temperature automatically when you’re out of the house or turn off the air conditioning when you don’t need it. For even bigger potential savings, refinancing your mortgage could lower your monthly payment.
If you’re open to something more drastic, you could think about downsizing to a smaller home or rental—perhaps after one or more children have left for college—as a way to save money on family expenses. You could also consider using your home to generate income by renting out a room on a vacation rental website or other social media platform.
6. Talk budgeting and saving with your kids
Learning how to save money while raising a family isn’t just for moms and dads. You can also get children involved by having regular budget talks. You don’t have to get into all of the nitty-gritty details about your income or expenses, but you can go over the basics of spending and saving. What children learn about money when they’re younger can come in handy later when they’re raising families of their own.
7. Think Able
Lastly, if you will need to purchase computer or any IT products for home or school use, think Able Computing Ltd trading as Able Home & Office. They have a wide range to choose from and are priced competitively. If you think of saving money, think Able!