For the person holding the family purse strings, saving money can be tough. To make it more possible and realistic the best way to make it possible is by making it a family effort with these four strategies.
Ask the family to simplify. Do you really need a pool membership if there’s a lake nearby? Are there outgrown clothes, forgotten toys and abandoned electronics in an attic or an extra space storage unit that could be sold for cash? There could also be subscriptions to publications that are going unread or dues paid to organizations that no longer interest you. Ask each family member to come up with three expenses he or she can trim from the family budget immediately.
When it comes to things like meal prep, holiday shopping and vacation planning, spontaneity gets expensive. As a family, create weekly menus based on supermarket flyers and advertised specials. Make a family event out of clipping coupons before special occasions and holidays. Scour the Internet for travel deals before booking outings or extended trips, and ask older children to research inexpensive places to dine and shop once you’re there. Lots of families find that anticipation of a planned-in-advance adventure is half the fun.
Help the family stay on track by setting clear goals and expectations for each family member. Tell a young child you expect him to save allowance money for toys that will no longer be coming out of the household budget. Let older children with jobs know how much you expect them to contribute to a college fund or savings account. Most importantly, when you set a goal for the family, don’t waver. Even if it means setting more modest goals at first, make sure that everyone gets to experience the satisfaction of meeting them.
Show Them the Money
Let everyone see the results of their money-saving efforts. Keep spreadsheets that track family spending. Create charts or graphs showing how much your family has saved and present them at a family meeting. For younger children, a simple, transparent change jar into which they drop pocket change can help drive home the impact that even small efforts have on family finances.
The family that saves together enjoys financial security and a sense of accomplishment. Involving all family members in the process by showing them what they’re achieving and asking them to come up with creative savings strategies helps guarantee success.
This is a guest post written by Hannah Whittenly. Hannah is a freelance writer from Sacramento, California. A mother of two, Hannah enjoys writing on blogs of all niches.
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