We are experiencing the highest inflation rate our country has seen in nearly 40 years. Living expenses, food prices and gas costs are on the rise largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, labor shortages and a host of other things beyond our control. Many families are now taking a hard look at their individual financial situations and making plans to save more and spend less! Check out our top 9 practical ways that you and your family can try to start saving money right now.
Create a budget
Start by tracking your family’s income and expenses. This will help you identify areas where you can cut back and save. If you don’t know what is coming in and what is coming out on a monthly basis, it will almost be impossible to save money.
Cut unnecessary expenses
Review your family’s expenses and identify items or services that you can live without. This could include eating out less, canceling unused subscriptions, or finding cheaper alternatives. Having a budget and knowing where your money is going will help you to cut these often unnecessary expenses. You will probably be surprised where your money is going each month. Once you cut these unnecessary expenses, you can start putting that money aside in a savings account each month.
Save on groceries
Plan your family’s meals in advance, make a shopping list, and stick to it. Look for sales and use coupons to save money on groceries. Consider buying in bulk for items that your family frequently uses. Clipping coupons is easier than ever, all you have to is a simple internet search and you will find coupons for nearly everything you spend money on. Why not take advantage of it?
Who doesn’t love free? Yes I said FREE! Next time you need something try to get it for free instead! This won’t always work if you need something right this very minute but it will for many things if you have the time to look! Let’s say your dryer stopped working suddenly and normally you would spend a lot of money to replace it. A great way to save some money would be to search Facebook Marketplace or Craig’s List where you can probably find a free dryer that someone is giving away. Internet searches are another great way to find free stuff! For example maybe you are a new mom and trying to save money, a quick search for Free Baby Stuff will yield hundreds of results!
Reduce energy consumption
Encourage your family members to turn off lights and appliances when not in use, unplug electronics, and adjust the thermostat to save on energy bills. Teach your children about the importance of saving energy because saving energy means saving money!
Use public transportation or carpool
If possible, consider using public transportation or carpooling with other families to save on gas and parking expenses. This can also help reduce traffic congestion and contribute to a greener environment. Having a budget will help you see how much you are spending on gas, tolls and parking each month and where you can cut back.
Avoid impulse buying
Teach your family members the importance of thinking before making a purchase. Encourage them to ask themselves if they really need the item and to give themselves some time to think before making a decision. Many times the kids want something right now but waiting and perhaps finding the item at a better price is more practical and will help you save money now.
Save on entertainment
Look for free or low-cost entertainment options for your family, such as visiting parks, having a movie night at home, or exploring local events and attractions. Encourage your family to engage in activities that don’t require spending a lot of money. There are literally thousands of things families can do each month for free that are still fun and great things to do!
Set savings goals
Involve your family in setting savings goals. Determine how much you want to save as a family and set specific goals. This will help everyone stay motivated and track progress. Begin by scheduling a time to sit down with the other adults in your household and make plans to allocate what portion of incoming money goes to savings and debt repayment, or other things you want for your family. An important part of building a family budget is keeping communication open and ongoing and being flexible about making changes when necessary.
Remember, saving money as a family requires teamwork, communication, and commitment. Start implementing these tips gradually and involve your family members in the process and you will be headed in the right direction for whatever the future holds.