9 Family Budget Tips
Where Do I Start?
We have all been there. Should we eat out or at home? This is the question we ask ourselves when we are on a real budget. It's not that all families who budget are broke, it is the fact that saving makes a considerable difference for the future. Especially, if you have goals to accomplish, or you would like to gain more rather than spend more. Whatever the reason for saving may be, there are many ways to begin a money saving journey to keeping your family's budget intact.
Save On Entertainment.
Did you know that quality entertainment can come at a free cost? With a valid library card, you can check out all sorts of entertainment from books to games for the whole family.
Also, you may even get the chance to borrow electronics for home use as well.
In addition to borrowing privileges, there are many programs available for children and adults that can keep everyone entertained and educated for free.
Schedule a family visit to find out what is available for home use. In most cases, there are also computer labs that provide internet usage, printing, copying, and more.
There are also Blu-rays and DVDs available, which means less comes out of your pocket and even greater savings happen for you. Cable and movie subscriptions can cost you hundreds of dollars a month, which can add more stress to your budget.
Also, don't forget to become a library friend for even greater perks and deals from the library and more. So, support your local library and save more!
Visit Your Local Dollar Store.
The dollar store has vast collection of items for a dollar or less. Though these items may be on the cheaper side, they may still work just as good as any other item you'll buy at a leading retailer.Just have a little patience and be more gentle with more fragile items.
Not only does the dollar store house all sorts of cleaning and household supplies, most of the time you can find toys for the kids or even supplies for you car.
So, visit your local dollar store and also don't be afraid to ask if they accept coupons, some do which means double savings for you!
Buy Second Hand Goods.
Some cringe at the thought of buying from the thrift store, but most of the time you'll find the greatest bargains and clothing for cheap.
Thrift stores also sell all types of items from household furniture to more toys for the kids. Some may even provide some new items at a discounted price as well.
Don't want to step foot in a thrift store? Don't forget about your newspaper classifieds, there are always items for sell at a discounted price.
Also, with the constant reinvention of the internet, you will find all types of websites and apps to buy and sell second hand items at a good price.
With a click of your mouse, here are some sites that offer cheap discounts to save on all types of goods:
Buy a Used Car Instead of a New Car.
Today, buying a used car is a great way to save money. Buying a new car or a car that is "in season" may cause you to make car payments for extended periods of time depending on your down payment and how much you are willing to fork over.
Even if you have tons of money to put down on a car, buying a used car will still save you money in the long run. Used cars tend to cost much less than newer cars, and you may not have to make payments for a long period of time.
If you can pay cash for a used car, you may still have money left over to spruce it up to excellent condition. Then, guess what? No monthly payments, and even bigger savings for your budget!
Keep in mind that you will need to keep up with the maintenance on a used car, since these cars typically have shorter warranties and higher mileage in some cases.
Most of the time you can find coupons and deals from local car maintenance shops, which can help with the cost of maintenance.
Here's a short list of sites where you may find good useful car deals:
Buy Items in Bulk.
If you have friends that are willing to go in on the monthly price at a bulk retailer, you can save a lot of money on household items that are sold by the bulk. So for example, instead of getting one bottle of dish detergent for $5.00, you may get 5 for 10.00.
Leading retailers such as Sam's Club and Costco charge a membership fee to access their collection of bulk items, but if someone you know is willing to split the costs, that will mean more savings for you.
So instead of going out to the store every week for household necessities, you'll have a month's supply at a great rate every month.
In addition to bulk retailers, Amazon offers great deals on household items sold by the bulk through their website.
So, if you want to save a trip to the store, keep in mind that bulk items can be sold online through various retailers as well.
Buying name brand items can sometimes put some stress on your budget. Whenever you can find items that contain the same ingredients, but with a different name, is always a benefit to your budget.
Sometimes you can find deals on these type of items at your local dollar or discount store.
These items may also be available at a leading retailer in a separate aisle or mixed in with the rest of the name brand items.
You may also find that there are stores that sell all generic items and some name brand items as well. Stores such as Save-a- Lot and Aldi sells mostly off brand items, in addition to name brands at discounted prices.
Save Money on the Gym.
We all benefit from staying in shape; in order to prevent obesity and a host of other diseases from not staying active.
But on a tight budget, you probably don't want to pay out hundreds of dollars for a gym membership. Unless you can find good deals or share a membership with a friend, working out at home may be a great alternative than going to the gym.
Also, check to see if your community offers fitness centers or fitness classes through recreation centers or community centers that may be free for residents or provided at a cheaper cost than gym membership.
If you are not a fan of home workouts, exercising outside can be a great alternative to the gym. You'll get fresh air and can even enjoy nature along the way. Best of all, exercising outside it totally free and your bank account will thank you.
Make What You Need At Home.
Going out to eat often can can put a real strain on your budget, especially dinning out with the family. Packing your lunch as oppose to going out can minimize the stress of your budget as well.
If the time allows, you can make delicious meals at home that can last you over a week's time. Cooking at home has also proven to be a lot cheaper than eating out in the long run.
According to ABC News Blog, Evelyn Molina of Mommy Mafia has spent up to $300.00 a week on eating out: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/01/real-money-fast-food-versus-home-cooked-meals/.
At that rate, you can expect to spend over 5,000 dollars in a year on eating out alone!
Also, if you spend a hefty amount on beauty and wellness products, try making your own at home for a cheaper alternative.
Visit your local natural retailers for deals on ingredients such as, Shea Butter, Argan oils, and more where you can combine ingredients to make your own products. It's a great alternative to buying expensive products with chemicals and you can save way more in the long run.
If you are feeling a little crafty, websites like Pinterest is a good place to find some interesting ideas for making your own products at home. You can also find lots of good remedies for the household as well.
Save On Utilities.
Turning off any electronics you do not use can save you a lot of money. Some utility websites offer money saving tips as well as programs you can enroll in to save more money. Keeping your lights off, especially in the daytime can help out with your electric bill.
Changing to more energy efficient light bulbs can also save you a lot of money on your monthly bill. These type of bulbs usually do cost more, but will save you money since you may only change them once every year depending on the brand you choose.
Also, if you have central air or air conditioners around the house, you can run them only on the hottest days of the summer.
The same goes for winter and fall months. Only running your furnace the coldest days of the year will help to save you money.
Utilize warm clothing and blankets for the cold and open up windows and doors during the summer for a breeze of air.
Cut down on your water bill by taking quick showers instead of full baths everyday. Make sure to only wash when you have full loads instead of a few clothing items.
This goes for washing dishes as well, only washing dishes when you have a full load or perhaps washing first then rinsing quickly to minimize on water usage.
Garbage disposal can also make a dent into your budget if you utilize your city's disposal. If you are really looking to cut down on the costs, dispose of your own trash and opt out of city collection if you can.
Bundle Your Bills.
If you have a large family, you know that bundling everything together makes a huge difference.
For example, if there is more than one person with a cell phone in your household, bundling everything together under one provider will save you money rather than paying for separate bills.
Many insurance, cable, cell phone, internet , and credit card companies allow you to bundle all of your bills together so that you are paying cheaper rates every month.
This is also a convenience for you so that all of your expenses are not scattered and will be easier to keep up with. Check with all of your local providers to see what deals are available in your area.
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© 2017 Lanecia Smith