Among the many goals set at the start of a new year, financial goals are always high on the list. The list might include how to make more money, save more money or spend less money. When it comes to family expenses money seems to go out faster than it comes in. However, with some careful planning, you can stretch your money further this year.
Here are 7 money-saving tips for your family to make your money go further and to keep the expenses lower this year:
- Money-Saving Tip #1: Shop Smart
Buy items you use on a regular basis such as groceries and other household items in bulk. It is advisable to buy things in bulk to cut down your spending and helps you reduce the number of shopping trips you make. Buying foodstuffs such as baskets of tomatoes and meat in bulk to share and split the costs with family or friends can be cheaper overall. For items with a shelf life check the expiry dates to be sure that it would last as long as you intend it to. Lastly, shop smart by buying local, for example replace imported rice with local rice, replace imported frozen potato chips with local potato.
- Money-Saving Tip #2: Always have a list
Still on shopping, always have a list. Take out time to write all the things in terms of grocery and foodstuff you could possibly need for a specified duration of time. More importantly, ensure you stick to your list and not swayed by things you do not need. It is easier to budget accordingly when you have a list to stick to.
- Money-Saving Tip #3: Plan your meals
The benefits of planning meals are extensive. It cuts out the need to grab lunch from a fast food restaurant which saves you money (and extra calories). Other benefits are the health benefits of home-made meals. It helps you manage/plan your time well as you’re not wondering what to cook at different times, you know what it is and you can prepare for it beforehand.
When creating meal plans, you can decide to prepare on Saturday evenings and store for use through the week. Encourage everyone in the house to take home-made lunches to school or the office. You would be surprised how much money you save by not spending N500 daily on outside food.
- Money-Saving Tip #4: Entertain at Home
Knowing that there is a need to keep the kids busy bring the entertainment home, rather than go out constantly. Invest in board games that can foster learning; Scrabble, City of Lagos Monopoly, Ludo, playing Cards, Chess! Try movie night at home complete with homemade popcorn and drinks. Have their friends over and experiment with whatever works as entertainment.
- Money-Saving Tip #5: Maintain a healthy lifestyle
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, pack your meals with more than apples. Ensure your home-cooked meals are balanced, that everyone is drinking enough water, and even exercising together. Daily healthy steps can keep everyone in good shape and ward off visits to the doctor and health-based expenses.
- Money-Saving Tip #6: Minimize waste
This cut across everything in the house from food to utility. Electricity bills can be high so save by turning off lights that are not being used. You could consider investing in energy-saving bulbs and a few battery operated fans. Minimize food wastage by storing food in airtight containers and have everyone take only what they can finish. Find other ways to save such as using cloth napkins that can be washed rather than paper napkins. The options are endless and different from house to house, but the key goal is to ensure waste is being minimized.
- Money-Saving Tip #7: Do-It-Yourself
Before you step out to buy something you need for storage at home, how about checking online first to see if you can sort it out yourself first? You might be surprised at the number of ways you could find to keep costs down. Some options are using old shoe boxes for storage, finding multiple uses for vinegar for home remedies or how to hand wash dry clean only clothes or washing your child’s hair at home.
Do you have any other ideas on making your money go further this year? Share them with us!