Having a family means being smarter with your money. Planning for futures and making sure your little cherubs are well looked after, takes priority.
However, in a world where everything is directly marketed to you (and for you), it can be hard to focus on the essentials. It’s also becoming increasingly expensive. With the cost of living on a continuous rise, bank loans and credit cards are now part of everyday use.
So how can we be smarter with our money?
There are so many ways to get the best bang for your buck. Here are just a few of my own personal tips for saving money.
1. Supermarket points cards – rewards programmes
Most supermarkets, coffee shops, clothing and toy stores offer some sort of rewards programme, incentivising you to shop with them. Whether you build up points to get to a free coffee or maybe money off vouchers with your next shop, these are a fantastic way to save, save, save…
2. Meal plan to avoid shopping chaos
Never, ever, go shopping on an empty stomach. I used to make this error regularly and then I’d get to the till and die from how much the total balance was.
These days, I make sure I plan ahead. Meals for the week are jotted down on Friday, and then the shopping is done on Saturday. I stick firmly to the shopping list and this way I know how much I’m spending before I get to the till.
3. Never buy straight off the shelf
It used to be that items you saw in store needed to be purchased there and then else you’d risk missing out. However, in this day an age, where there are multiple retailers both physically and online, it’s easier than ever to stop and ensure you’re getting the right deal.
If ever I see something in a store that I want to buy, I do a quick Google search to see if I’m getting the best deal. If not, the item goes back on the shelf, and I’ll instead buy it online or elsewhere. At first, this felt like a bit of a faff. But now, I’ve found it to be so useful and it really does help you save money (and make you more aware of who’s ripping you off).
4. Sell it, don’t bin it
So before, the thought of selling my used stuff would be a no go. Why would anyone buy anything second hand?
Firstly, the time it takes to upload your item, edit it, then post it. And what happens if the item goes missing or if the person is unhappy with what they received?
All these thoughts put me off online selling massively. However, with the introduction of mobile phones and the advancements in technology, selling online couldn’t be easier. Most online marketplace companies like eBay, Amazon, Vinted etc. have created a super smooth experience for the seller, meaning you could have your item uploaded and ready to sell within a couple of minutes. There’s also more support and guidance for those selling items online. It’s no longer like the Wild, Wild West, where anything goes.
It’s honestly silly not to get involved.
5. Use cashback sites
Everyone loves a bit of free money, and most insurance and reward sites offer a cashback service. Whether it’s £50 for swapping your gas company or £10 for completing their customer service survey, cashback is everyone’s friend and yours too.
6. Make your own lunch
So I’m terrible for popping to M&S on my lunch and picking up a fancy salad. However, the cost starts to rise rapidly when you pick one up most days and add in a few treats too.
Same can be said for my little boy’s school dinners. And, he always seems to come home starving, so maybe his plate isn’t all that full or it doesn’t include the right kinds of food.
So I’ve decided to start making lunch for us all. I include everything I need in my planned weekly shop and where possible, prep ahead. Not only does this help save a pretty penny, but the meal prep gives me a bit of my own space to be out in the kitchen, trying new things and experimenting. It also means I can ensure my little one (and my big one) get a balanced, healthy and filling lunch.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to be smarter with your money. I hope you found these tips helpful and share your ideas in the comments below.
If you’d like to stay in touch with me, head on over to healthhacking.com when I share lots of health & lifestyle tips.
This is a guest post by Jo from Health Hacking.