Saving money becomes a lot more difficult when you start a family. No longer having to worry about only your own budget is a big change. The recent price increase of many common needs, as well as disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, only serve to make the situation even more difficult. However, cutting costs doesn't have to involve making major sacrifices. Here are some ways to save money without drastically altering your lifestyle.
Drop Some Subscription Services
There are so many subscriptions out there these days that it's very easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of unnecessary costs. Take a good look at all the subscriptions you have and find out which ones you can do without or replace with a cheaper option. While canceling or changing subscriptions won't seem like much at the moment, even a single subscription definitely adds up over time.
Cut Down Energy Costs
Another simple task that can save you a lot of money over time is to develop energy-friendly habits. There are a lot of simple ways you can cut down on your utility bills without spending much, if anything, on upgrading your house. Here are some healthy habits you can develop to save you money:
- Turn off Unused Devices. There is no reason a light or device that isn't being used needs to stay on. Get yourself and your family into the habit of switching off any lights or devices that they are finished using. You'll be surprised how much it saves you on your light bill.
- Turn off the Water. Chances are this one is clear to you, but it probably isn't very clear to your kids. Reinforce the need for your kids to turn off the faucets when they are done using them, as well as in between activities like washing dishes or brushing their teeth.
- Be Conservative with the Thermostat. If you or your family are constantly changing the thermostat to make it warmer or cooler in your house, consider the value of dressing for the weather and what it can save you in heating or AC. Wearing a sweater instead of turning up the heat can go a long way in cutting down on your energy bills.
Trim the Grocery Bill
If you find yourself with a high grocery bill every time you go shopping, there are some steps you can take to see if you can cut back on food expenses without taking drastic measures.
- Make a List. If you're going to the store without a shopping list, you're likely sabotaging your own trip and making things more expensive than they have to be. Making a list allows you to avoid any excessive spending and will likely make your trip a much faster one.
- Avoid Wasteful Purchases. Keep track of what doesn't get finished or what expires before it can be used. This way, you know to purchase less of that item next time and can save money on your next grocery trip.
- Shop Sales. A tried and true strategy to save money on grocery shopping is to find out what is on sale and when. Try to plan your shopping trip when a few of the things you want to buy are on sale or consider substituting something on your list with an alternative that is currently on sale.
- Don't Shop When Hungry. Make sure you eat before you go shopping. People who go to the store hungry tend to make more irrational purchases and it can completely kill all the progress made by the first three steps.
Enjoy the Local Parks
A family trip doesn't always have to add up the expenses. Instead of going somewhere costly, try planning a picnic or a hike in your nearby park. It's an inexpensive way to plan a day with your family.
Use the Local Library
Many local libraries offer more than just books nowadays, they also offer movies and CDs, as well as a variety of free activities. Check with your local library to see what they offer, and even if they don't have any activities that you'd like for your kids, some of their books or movies might be worth borrowing and can keep you from having to pay for them, especially if you only plan to use the book or movie once.
There's no one size fits all method to saving money, especially when you have a family to think about. However, using some of the simple tips above can add up and help you build your savings, even with your family at your side.