5 Budgeting Tips for Big Families
Let’s face it – being in a big family is expensive. You pay more for almost everything because you’re naturally bigger consumers of almost everything. Being able to save some money here and there can go a long way to making money less tight and leave some overhead for those unexpected expenses. Having good cash flow is important for you as a big family, and for that reason, we’ve gathered up some budgeting tips for big families.
Start with a Budget, of Course
The first and most important thing you can do as a big family is starting with making a comprehensive budget. You likely know at least approximately what you earn each month, so you need to make sure that your income caters for all your expenses. Start by listing out all your monthly expenses like rent, utilities, car payments and everything that you have to pay each month as a base budget. Now give yourself spending limits for all the things you need to buy during the month.
Have a set budget for groceries and entertainment and break it down into weekly amounts, so you always know where you stand at any time during the month. It sounds like a lot of planning, but after a few months, it will be second nature.
Make Use of Family Plan Subscriptions
Many companies, particularly music and movie streaming services and similar offer significantly discounted subscription rates for families. They might give you up to six accounts for a monthly fee of little more than the price of a single subscription, and everyone in the family can make use of the subscription for their own account. It’s not even always about saving some money. Certain subscriptions like Apple’s Family Plan might even offer other benefits, like being able to share your location with the family, which is great for lost devices and safety.
Shop Around, But Have Limits
Pricing can differ wildly from store to store, particularly on big ticket items, so take some time to shop around before making a purchase. Often, if you use specialty stores, like a butchery for your meat, you can save some money over grocery store pricing, but you should always compare. Don’t take it to the extreme, however, and travel miles between stores to save small amounts of money because you’re likely spending more on transport, and certainly using more of your time. Decide for yourself what amount of saving is worth shopping around or making a special trip for.
It’s not always about pricing between the same product either. You might find a cheaper product or a different brand that costs less but does the same thing for less money. Using a site like Upgraded Reviews is a great option for comparing brands.
Shop Second Hand
There is an enormous market and economy behind second-hand goods and for good reason. The internet has made it even easier to trade in used items and many a great deal can be had. If you’re in the market for a new appliance or tech gadgets, don’t forget to check sites that list second-hand deals. Buying used clothing can also be a great way to save some money in your budget – particularly for growing kids who need bigger sizes every time you turn around!
These tips might sound obvious when you read them but ask yourself honestly how many of them you really do, and how many you could improve on in your daily dealings with money. Chances are, if you paid more attention to your budget, you’d be in a better position to deal with those little unexpected expenses that always seem to pop up as the month goes on.