Sensible Spending and Saving For You And Your Family

 

The following is a guest post. Enjoy! 

Sensible Spending and Saving For You And Your Family

Good sense on big choices

 
Families need to act for the overall benefit of the family finances. While the interest of each family is specific and personal to individual needs, goals and aims, there are common issues affecting all of us. Shrewd planning and making the right choices on key issues can make a big difference to the family budget when times are tough.

Location, Location, Location

 
One of the most important decisions in family life is choosing accommodation. What is negotiable? What size and nature of home is vital? If you must live near grandparents, other relatives or friends who can offer free childcare, close to school, near the workplace or vital amenities, can this still be achieved by moving a to a wider geographical radius at a cheaper price or in downsized accommodation?
How many people in the family must have a car, taking into account the combined costs of insurance, fuel and parking? Would relocating enable you to make use of public transport to get to work, college and school at a much reduced cost. Car pooling and sharing the load with friends, neighbors and relatives might be an option.

Education, Education, Education

 
There’s no getting away from it, education costs money, whether you’re in the fee paying market or not. Careful planning is essential to take account of all those essential extras for each child and adult, including books, school, sports and work equipment, trips, clubs and computer equipment, certification and training. As your child gets older, apprenticeships, colleges and university fees require essential budgeting from the outset. That early investment will ultimately help the family achieve future financial stability.
Keep school uniform non-negotiable. School and work wear can be purchased second hand to achieve significant savings. Having a network of parents and friends to recycle and hand down school uniforms from older to younger kids is a wise choice. Work wear can be vital to maintain the best impression and enhance job prospects, but it can be sourced cheaply from sales. Sign up to e-mail list alerts for quality clothes at the best prices available. You may need to buy a year or a few years ahead, if you are certain they will be worn.
Check that all Child Tax Credits, Nursery Vouchers and other benefits are claimed. Ensure that advice from a company that does contracting for accountants is sought to ensure that your home business stays tax efficient. Regularly check supermarket deals online carefully before visiting the store for the best multi-buys on essentials for packed lunches.

Birthdays and Celebrations

 
Children particularly love a fuss being made on their birthdays, but it need not cost the earth and the moon. Remember the days before you had to outdo every other child in the class by hiring One Direction to perform a personalized gig? Make your child feel special by talking about their birthday in the lead up to the event and afterwards. Make cards, get cheap balloons, make the birthday cake, offer homemade mini sandwiches, multi-buy crisps, fresh fruit and treats, and the retro party becomes cool again.
Encourage children to choose a single mid-price present in lieu of lots of treats bought in the weeks and months before. Deferred gratification is a valuable lesson forgotten in times of economic boom. Spending time fully engaging with your child on their special day and their memories will be just as fond, without the need to re-mortgage.

How about you all? What factors do you feel are most important in determining how much a family is or is not able to save? 


Share your experiences by commenting below!

***Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/serpicolugnut/172616929/sizes/o/in/photostream/

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