Money Saving Tips for Parents | How to Save Money as a Parent
With the price of living increasing for many of us across the country right now, it's no wonder a lot of us are feeling the weight. You only need to step into your local supermarket or fill up your fuel tank at the petrol station to notice a big difference in prices - and an even bigger hole in your pockets!
Finding ways to cut back, then, is likely a top priority for a lot of people - and this is especially true for those with a family to add to the mix.
In this week's blog post, we want to help ease some of this burden and financial stress with 5 things you can do to save money as a parent or caregiver - without having to make huge sacrifices.
Keep reading for our money-saving tips for parents.
1) Buy Secondhand
If you're the type to walk straight past the sale rack or avoid charity shops, this one is for you! Buying secondhand is not only better for the planet, but can also save you a significant amount of money in the long run.
Wherever possible, try to buy second-hand items and goods like children's clothes, furniture for the home or even books and stationery. Apps like Vinted and Depop are great for clothes and you can find almost anything up for bid on eBay.
You also might surprise yourself with what you'd find in a charity shop - The British Heart Foundation has stores that exclusively sell pre-loved (yet great condition) furniture, whilst shops like Oxfam, Cats Protection and Age UK sell clothes and homewares. Many of which are brand new, never been used!
2) Use Sinking Funds
Sinking funds are a great tool/method for saving up money for a particular goal or item on your wishlist.
For example, maybe you want to plan a family summer holiday when the kids break up for summer or swimming lessons for your youngest. These expenses can become more affordable (and feel more attainable!) when you spread out the cost over a period of time e.g. weeks or months.
How to Calculate a Sinking Fund:
Determine the total cost of the goal e.g. £2000 for an all-inclusive week-long family holiday
Work out the number of weeks or months until you would need to pay for the trip
Divide the total expense by the number of 'intervals' (weeks or months)
The sum of the final total is what you will need to put aside in savings each week/month to achieve your sinking fund goal!
For more ideas on family-focussed sinking funds, check out this extensive list from Fire the Family.
3) Buy in Bulk
You may have heard of the term "buying in bulk" before, but what does it actually mean?
To put it simply, purchasing in bulk refers to purchasing large quantities of a product, usually at a discounted unit price. For example, you may end up saving more in the long run when you buy one 16-pack of toilet roll every month instead of a 4-pack every week!
According to The Good Trade, bulk-buying can help you practice zero-waste living and also forces you to plan, organise, and be a more intentional shopper - all of which will undoubtedly help you to cut back on your food costs for the month. So, next time you're doing the weekly shop, consider buying enough for the month (and ordering online to save your arms!).
Read our post for more ways to save money on your food bill.
4) Track Your Spending
Whether you're a parent or not, tracking your spending is an absolute must if you're looking to get on top of your finances. Not only does this help you to see exactly where your money is going, but it also helps to give an overall picture of everything you need to account for in your budget.
You can review your spending by making notes of ALL purchases using a spreadsheet or diary, but if you'd prefer a more digital and automatic approach, you can use the ImageNPay app to track your spending on a weekly/monthly basis.
With an ImageNPay prepaid digital card, you can view your latest transactions in seconds and navigate to the date you need for a clearer picture of your spending from month to month. Find out more about how ImageNPay can help you save money here.
5) Avoid "The Joneses"
Don't bother trying to keep up with the Joneses! Focus on your own family and resist comparing yourself and your financial journey to others.
As much as it can feel like everybody's further ahead than you, remember that people tend to only show what they want others to see. Make life easier on yourself and instead try opening up to other parents about money matters: be willing to accept help and you could even also consider swapping goods/hand-me-downs from other parents with older kids!
Make budgeting, saving money, and tracking your spending an easier process with an ImageNPay prepaid digital card - and with our latest feature in ImageNPay+, you can now add up to 3 cards for your kids to transfer money and monitor spending!
Find out more here about our Kids' version of the app and tap the button below to download FREE on iOS and or Android.
Don't forget to follow us on Instagram @ImageNPay for more family budgeting tips and the latest news!