The costs of raising children can be a shock to those not expecting it – they need a lot of time and money to keep them happy, and your income soon has to provide for double the people. If you’re struggling to manage your finances, don’t worry; these three tips and money-saving hacks will help you manage your budget better and make it easier to keep up with the costs.
Plan For Everything
As a parent, you’ll never be able to work out what’s coming next or count everything you need to pay for – but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan for it. Your budget may, at this point, just be “this is how much money I have for the month”. It needs more detail than that – you need to plan for everything you can think of.
Start off with the money you have per month, and split it between different areas – food shopping, clothes, house payments. You need to work out what money you need to spend, and after you’ve accounted for essentials, see how much you have left for what you want to spend. Out of this money, you should also set some aside for emergencies (for example, if the car breaks down) as well as some money set aside for savings.
You may even want a separate fund simply for the children – maybe they have clubs you need to pay for or school things to buy.
Cut Out Unnecessary Costs
It’s also easy to just grab things on the go or not look around for the best price as a parent since you have so much to do. But taking a little time out just to cut out any unnecessary costs will save you a lot more than you think. Even small things, like a cup of coffee, are expensive – buying pods made to fit Nespresso machines will cost you $5 for a whole week.
If you buy a cup of coffee every morning, Monday to Friday, this will cost you around $15, meaning you could have an extra $520 in your pocket. Don’t dismiss anything as too small – even the smallest costs can be cut, and can save you a lot of cash in the process.
It’s also worth shopping around for your household bills – often, it’s easy to renew these and keep paying more and more without shopping around for better deals. Looking at other places for your bills will save you lots.
Put Some Money Aside
As mentioned before, putting some money aside for your savings is a great idea to prepare for the future, including all the unknowns that are bound to come along the way. Maybe you need a bigger house or car for your family, or maybe you want a family vacation, or maybe your kids will want to go to college.
There are a lot of expenses that either appear or become a whole lot more expensive with kids, and saving some money will help you prepare for those extra costs. If you’re not sure how to put some savings aside, we recommend opening a savings account that’s separate from your current account. This will help you to keep this money isolated from the spending, so you’re less likely to dip into it. It also means you can see the money build up over time, so you can feel rewarded every time you add to it.
These three tips will help you re-organize your budget, plan financial emergencies and manage your money better – with a little time and patience, you’ll be able to get back on track and have more money to spend to give your children the life they deserve.