When looking for ways to save more money, it’s essential to include the whole family. When everyone within the household has a clear understanding of the family’s finances and monetary goals, you’re more likely to succeed.
Begin the conversation by discussing your household’s current financial state and the goals you’re looking to meet as a family. These may include decreasing expenses, increasing your family’s income, or saving for something specific like a new television or vacation. Below are seven ideas to help achieve these targets as a family.
1. Food Costs
Groceries account for one of the most significant expenses of a household. As your family grows, these costs can double or even triple. And, if your home consists of teenagers, you’re probably very aware of how much food they consume regularly.
First, begin by reviewing how much your household is currently spending on groceries each month. Then, set a goal to decrease this cost by a certain amount. It could be a set amount ($100 per month) or a percentage (10% less each month).
Next, map out your weekly meal plans, but be sure to allow for ongoing snacks as well. When you’re organized with your grocery shopping and meal planning, you’ll begin to save more money.
Here are some additional tips to help you save more on food costs:
- Plan all your meals for the week ahead of time.
- List out the items you're looking to purchase before shopping.
- Shop specials by reviewing weekly sales.
- Cut coupons together as a family to use when you shop.
- Set a maximum grocery budget for each trip to keep you from overspending.
- Allow family members to list one special treat for each shopping excursion, so they don’t feel deprived yet still enables you to stay within your family budget.
- Be sure not to grocery shop while you’re hungry.
2. Sell Some Stuff
Let’s face it, most people’s homes are inundated with unused or barely used items that could easily be sold to make some quick cash. A great way to raise some extra money is by either hosting a garage sale or selling your items online. There are many apps and websites that can make this process very easy and turnkey.
As a family, you can set a goal to go through certain parts of your home and collect any items that may be worth selling. Once you sell the items, you can determine what to do with the extra money – deposit it into a family savings account or use a portion to buy something for the family.
3. Check into Discounts and Coupons
When you’re spending for a whole family, things can really add up. However, there are many discount and coupon options that you can take advantage of, even if you’re shopping online.
Before making purchases, be sure to search the web for any coupons for the store where you are shopping. There are endless websites that offer discounts on all different things, from electronics to groceries. There are even browser extensions you can add that will automatically search all coupons or promotional codes available.
4. Take Advantage of Store Apps
As part of a busy family, different apps on your phone can become handy partners in helping you accomplish more and track your expenditures. Many stores now offer apps that allow you to shop online and arrange a pick-up or delivery time. Be sure to review all the costs or fees associated with these services. Some stores may charge for delivery, but pick-up is free. These types of apps can help you save money since they show your total before you buy – allowing you to see if you’re over your budgeted amount instantly.
5. Establish a Family Jar / Vacation Jar
Similar to a child’s piggy bank, family savings jars encourage everyone in the family to set money aside for a particular reason or goal. You can use the family jar for things like a family vacation, entertainment costs, a new television, and more. Savings jars serve as a constant, visual reminder and teach everyone the importance of working together to achieve the goal.
6. Buy Secondhand
Purchasing "new" kids' clothing can be a costly mistake. A great way of saving money on family necessities is by:
- Shopping at thrift stores or consignment shops
- Hosting a clothing swap with a different family
- Shopping at yard sales
There are also online marketplaces and social media groups where you can purchase and sell items locally.
7. Entertain at Home
These days, finding home entertainment is easier than ever. However, it is possible to still spend a lot of money even if you are just staying at home – whether you’re ordering food delivery or renting movies, it can really add up. Instead, consider more affordable and creative ways to entertain. For example, you could play a board game as a family, cook a meal together, or make some popcorn and curl up on the couch together to watch a movie you already own.
We’re Here to Help!
Saving money doesn't have to be hard. With a plan of action and a little discipline, your family can start adding money to your savings regularly.
The credit union is a great resource to help your family save together. From traditional savings accounts to vacation and holiday accounts, we can help you choose a financial product that will help your family reach your shared goals quicker.
A shared family account can be the perfect resource for larger financial goals to keep your family on track and easily monitor your progress. Please give us a call at 202-479-2270 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started today.