With many families experiencing more hardship than ever before, money management has become even more important. Keeping ahead of inflation whilst in debt, which many families are nowadays, can be very difficult and according to a recent survey, many people are concerned about meeting the basic needs of their families over the next few months. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel; for those who are struggling to make ends meet, there are some simple changes that can help to ease the financial burden.
Saving on food
Shopping for even a small family of three or four can add up very quickly. However, there are in fact many ways in which you can keep your family fed without spending a small fortune. Eating fresh products instead of ready meals is one tip that could save you a bundle and even for parents who are short on time when it comes to cooking, it’s worth keeping in mind that the time it takes to wait for a ready meal to cook is often the same amount of time it takes to prepare a freshly cooked meal. Fresh meals can cost a fraction of the price of ready meals and are healthier to boot.
Cut down on car expenses
Driving to and from work, dropping the kids off at school, day trips at the weekends it all adds up, but much like with family meals, there are plenty of ways to cut down on the cost of driving. One of the easiest ways to save money is to shop around for car insurance. Many people are paying far too much for theirs, simply because they are unaware that there are cheaper deals available. There are a whole host of online comparison sites to browse through. You may also want to consider cutting down on driving by walking or cycling where this is possible and switching to public transport a couple of times per week.
Save on broadband and phone bills
Comparison sites aren’t just for car insurance; there are also a number of sites dedicated to showing you the best broadband and phone bundles. With virtually every household in the UK now using the internet on a regular basis, it makes sense to compare broadband prices and seek out the best possible deal. Even if switching to a new provider only saves you fifteen pounds a month, for example, this will really add up over the course of a year, so it is definitely worth considering.
Make and stick to a realistic budget
Whilst it’s not the most enjoyable thing to do, creating a realistic budget and sticking to it will do wonders for your family’s financial stability in the long run. There are plenty of free budget spreadsheets available online and once you get into the habit of jotting down your spending each month, you’ll soon have a better idea of where your money is going.
Watch out for credit card interest rates
For those who have a reasonably good credit rating, but have a couple of debts that are being paid off, it’s often worth switching to a 0% credit card, as this will ensure that you can make a decent dent in your debts without using your precious savings to pay off interest. Alternatively, look for credit cards that reward spending; many card providers offer cashback or air miles with their cards.