Having a safety net, however small it may be, is one of the best things that you can do for your family. Figuring out how to get there, especially when living paycheck to paycheck, it can be hard to know just where to start. I know from experience. Luckily, I’ve got lots of tips on saving money that will get you some financial peace of mind in no time at all.
Believe it or not, but planning for your family’s future is just as important as taking care of your family in the present. Rainy days, or months, happen to everyone and it’s completely naive to think that we are immune to hard times.
If you’d love for your family to have a safety net, but you’re just not sure where to start, I’m here to help!
These are some of my favorite basic tips on saving money to help you start setting aside a nest egg for your family’s future.
Tips on Saving Money
Do a quick internet search and you’re sure to find hundreds, or thousands, of tips on saving money. Yes, lots of these tips are great, but most of them don’t apply to busy family’s who are sometimes struggling to make ends meet.
If you’re in that boat, I have some good news for – saving for your family is totally possible! One of the first steps toward creating savings for your family is shifting your mindset about money.
Instead of scraping to get by each month, these simple tips will help you develop better money habits that will transform the way you think about your family’s money.
Here are my favorite tips on saving money for your family.
Budget, Budget, Budget
I’ve said it many times before, but I’m going to say it again. Budgeting is my number one tip on saving money.
If you have no idea how much money you have coming in and going out every month, how will you be able to set aside money for the future?
The first step toward shifting your focus about money is to get a handle on exactly how much money you’re making and how much money you’re spending every month.
To set up a budget for your family, start by adding up all your income by taking a look at your past paychecks, in addition to any other income you have coming in on a regular basis.
Then, grab your past bank (& credit card) statements and create expense categories for all your regular monthly expenses. These expenses will include regular bills, like mortgage and utilities, in addition to other monthly expenses, like groceries and travel expenses.
After listing all your income and expenses, you can start creating your family’s monthly budget. Start by allotting an average amount spent each month on your recurring expenses, then add in other incidental items, like doctor’s visits and home maintenance.
After you have your budget outlined, be sure to stick to it every month!
When you decide to start saving money, it’s a good time to take a hard look at your family’s expenses. After going line by line, you’re likely to find a few memberships or services that are being charged to your account that your family doesn’t need or use.
Services for things like Netflix, Amazon Prime, subscription boxes, and gym memberships can often be discarded or replaced with more cost-effective solutions…plus it doesn’t hurt to develop a little bit of self-control and go without some of these items regardless.
Cut Back on Incidental Expenses
While it may seem like that coffee that you grab at the coffee shop on your way to work or the $10 you spend each day eating out for lunch won’t break the bank, all those small incidental expenses can quickly add up.
Cutting back on just $10 a day in incidental expenses will save you $70 a week, $280 a month, or $3,640 a year. That’s money you could be saving for your family’s future!
If you need a little bit of inspiration on things you can cut out of your daily routine, try these tips:
- Make your own coffee at home instead of buying it on your way to work.
- Bring your own lunch instead of purchasing one.
- Work out at home instead of at the gym.
- Use a refillable water cup instead of bottled water or soda.
- Eat at home for dinner instead of going out to eat.
- Check out a book or movie from the library instead of purchasing one.
- Meal plan and make a list before heading to the grocery store and stick to it to avoid impulse purchases.
Declutter/Dejunk and Make Money
Clutter causes all kinds of problems in your home, from stressing you out to making your home dirty.
The good news is that your clutter can also help you earn money you can put toward savings. Take the time to declutter your house, then gather up everything that is still in good, usable condition and sell it while it is still of value.
There are a variety of ways your clutter can earn you money:
- Host a yard sale and sell your stuff to your neighbors.
- List your items on eBay and sell them online.
- Sell your stuff on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
- Package up all your items and sell them to a resale/consignment shop.
Ask for Discounts
Did you know you can get discounts on a variety of regular purchases just by asking or looking for coupons of the website of the business you’re already using?
Contact your cable, internet, and cell phone providers to negotiate new rates or smaller packages to reduce your monthly bill.
Refinance your car loan to work out a lower interest rate or smaller monthly payment. Ask for a discount on larger purchases by paying cash for an item instead of using a credit or debit card.
I’ve even asked for a discount to pay “cash” at a hospital the day after a surgery…and guess what? Many hospitals will give you a 30-50% discount if you pay within a day or two of the surgery just by asking for a discount.
Get Rid of Debt
Hanging on to debt is costing your family! Think about how much money you can save every month by getting rid of that debt payment and the interest that goes along with it.
One of the fastest ways to pay off your family’s debt is by paying off the smallest debts first, then taking on the larger ones. This repayment method, known as the snowball method, allows you to tackle debt quickly in increments.
Start by designating a certain amount of additional money you can pay toward your debt each month. Let’s say you can allocate an extra $50 toward paying off debt every month. Start by directing that extra $50 toward your smallest debt payment.
That extra money will be in addition to the minimum payment you’re already making. After you’ve paid off your smallest loan, move on to the next largest debt. But instead of paying an extra $50, you’ll add that $50 plus the minimum payment from the loan you just paid off to your new debt payment.
Continue this process until all your family’s debt is paid. Then, take the amount of money you were paying toward debt and start adding that amount to your savings every month.
Make Saving Automatic
Once you have a handle on setting aside money for savings, creating an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account each payday is one of the best tips on saving money I can give.
By transferring money to your savings account as soon as you get it, you’re essentially paying your family first.
That means you’re giving your family that money before you get a chance to spend it on bills, groceries, or something frivolous that your family doesn’t really even need.
Set Savings Goals
Finally, one of the best tips on saving money I can offer is to set goals for yourself.
In addition to feeling pride in achieving a goal, the act of goal setting also makes the goal seem more achievable.
Start small by vowing to create an emergency fund for your family, then aim bigger by creating a nest egg your family can rely on well into the future to ensure that you’re covered if there is ever a loss of income or a large emergency.
Stop Trying To Keep Up With The Jones’s
Yeah, I just said it… one of the biggest things that we can do to save money is to just learn to be happy with what we’ve already got instead of trying to keep up with everyone around us that has the latest and greatest shiny thing.
Sometimes it’s hard to have the courage to do so, but just remember that your family’s long-term well-being is way more important than trying to fit in or compete…because the only person that you should be competing with is yourself.
A high credit score, or balance in savings, is much sexier than having the latest Iphone the day it comes out…but that’s just my personal opinion.
If this is one that you struggle with, it could be a good idea to sneak in something you want between financial goals… maybe alternate a financial goal then a splurge, then a financial goal and so on…it will take longer to reach all of your goals this way, but giving yourself some wiggle room could possibly make it so that you’re more likely to not just give up altogether.
Anyway, that’s really all that I have to share with you all today about saving money, but if you would like even more tips make sure to check out my entire “Financial Advice” Section for more good ideas.
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Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! ~Sarah
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