If you have children, you certainly feel a increase in your expenses in recent times. Due to the successive and varied increases that have been registered, the financial situation of many families in Portugal is becoming more complicated. Particularly in the case of families with children. From food, clothing and footwear to school supplies, the expenses associated with children are several and yields do not always follow. In this article, we have gathered the main expenses and suggested strategies to deal with its increase. Thus, the objective is the stability of your financial situation and the maximization of your savings.
Reset your budgets
First, it is essential create budgets at the family level. Budgets are one of the best tools for controlling expenses. Setting a figure for different expense categories and sticking to it can result in big savings at the end of the month. However, when you have children, this strategy becomes even more important.
It is no secret that a household with children has significantly more expenses than a household without them. Thus, it is important to adoption of strategies for the continuous improvement of its financial situation. If you are not used to creating budgets, this is the ideal time to do so. start by making a survey of all your monthly expenses. Make an effort not to forget any. Usually, these go through food, water, electricity, gas, rent/monthly fee, fuel, among others. In addition to expenses, you can also include whatever amount you want left over for your savings and/or emergency fund. Then, establish the maximum amount you want to commit to spend per month in each category and your budget is created. The next step is to “just” stick to it.
If you already have budgets
If, on the other hand, you already have budgets created and, even so, you are having difficulty meeting your expenses, you should try a revamp. Analyze your expenses and the budgets you set for them. See the ones you can shrink. For example, you can try to reduce your electricity bill through some savings strategies, such as turning off switches whenever you change rooms, or avoiding having appliances in stand by, between others. On the other hand, you may want to cut down on spending on food and groceries. Analyze your shopping list and check if you have spent money on less necessary items, such as sweets, snacks, juices, among others. Do this with all your expenses and try to reduce them. You may not see this decrease right away in the next month, but in two or three months you may feel a difference. Also read: How to “convince” your kids to like personal finance?
Cut or minimize “less” necessary expenses
Another way to make ends meet with children is to reduce and/or cut out those deemed unnecessary. It is common over time to accumulate expenses that at the beginning (before having children) we did not have. For example, going to restaurants, recreational activities, clothing and footwear, among others. However, with the arrival of children, the financial situation usually changes. So one of the things to do, especially if you’re having trouble making ends meet, is to analyze your expenses and see where you can reduce. There are fixed expenses that, no matter how much you want, cannot be changed, such as the rent or monthly payment for your house. Nonetheless, others can be reduced or even eliminated.. For example, subscription services. Currently, there are subscriptions for everything and often, without realizing it, we have much more than one. Streaming services, music, beauty, the options are many and the prices are attractive, however, at the end of the month everything weighs on your expenses. If you have subscriptions that you don’t use often, it might be a good time to delete them. .Also read: 5 financial tips your kids won’t forgetA great strategy for those who have children is buy with promotion and in quantity. This applies to various items, food, clothing, footwear, among others. The most obvious is food. when you find good deals on items that you consume frequently, you should take advantage of them and buy in larger quantities. If we are talking about items with a long shelf life, it is a matter of storing them dry and consuming them over time. If, on the other hand, we are talking about perishable items, such as fruit, vegetables, meat/fish, you can purchase them in larger quantities in the same, however, you must store them frozen. Frozen food products have a much longer shelf life and do not lose nutritional characteristics. So, enjoys discounts and does not lose in flavor and characteristics.Likewise, you can use this strategy for other items such as clothing and footwear. It may seem strange to buy clothes in greater quantity, as it is usually something that is only purchased when necessary. However, children grow up quickly and sooner or later they will end up needing to replace their clothing. Acquire basic items such as jeans, tracksuits, sweatshirts, underwear and socks can be a great savings strategy. Also read: University, now what? Uncomplicated Guide to Accounts for Parents and Children
Make planning your best friend
Another strategy is planning. O Planning is essential in all situations, especially when the goal is to save money. Before going shopping, plan your trip, make a list of everything you need at home and limit yourself to those itemss. At the beginning of the week, plan the meals you want to have, thus ensuring you have what you need to prepare them and reducing the risk of convenience foods or takeaways. Likewise, make extra food for dinner to take the next day for lunch. Thus, it reduces the possibility of going to cafes for lunch or buying lunch. Plan your routine and your travels, for example, when using the car, see how you can maximize the trip. If you have to go out and your child does too, do it at the same time, whenever possible, to avoid unnecessary travel. Also read: Child care allowance: What are the conditions for entitlement
Sell items you no longer need
A great way to recoup some money spent is sell the items you no longer need, especially if you have children. Anyone with children knows that clothes and shoes are the most common items that you accumulate at home. As children grow, they can no longer wear certain clothes, which later become useless. Therefore, you should analyze the cabinets and look for clothes and shoes that you no longer wear and that it is in a condition to be sold. do the same with toys. Give these items a second life and at the same time make money to make ends meet. Currently, there are numerous platforms that help you sell your items online, such as Vinted, OLX, Marketplace, among others. If, on the other hand, you are not comfortable selling online, you can always take the products to a second-hand store. Read also: Financial tips for young people they still don’t learn in school
Include kids in finance conversations
Last but not least, You should include your children in conversations about finances. From an early age, children must be taught to handle money and to save. It is important for their evolution and also for the understanding of the world around them. Explaining where the money comes from and why it cannot be spent all at once, or holding them responsible for their spending, is critical. For example, if your child wants a more expensive toy, she should raise money to pay for it. It should, therefore, instill in children not only notions of financial responsibility, but also the desire to want to learn more about money. Also read: 11 tips to help your child have good drinking habits