Fast and easy ways you can save cash and boost your budget
If you’ve got a family you’ll know how tough it can be to make ends meet, especially if you’re on a low income, are unemployed or receive Centrelink benefits. There just never seems to be enough cash to go around.
So if you haven’t already got a household budget – you need one! Here’s a simple guide to setting a budget.
And whether you’ve got a budget or not – there’s always a few quick and clever ways you can squeeze more out of your family dollar.
Here’s some quick and easy budget busters you can start using today!
- Go through your bills with a fine toothed comb
- When you’re busy with the demands of a family and running a household, it’s easy to fall into the habit of paying bills without really looking at them.
- But take a moment to read through your bills and look at the details.
- You’ll be amazed at the errors or opportunities for savings that you might uncover.
- Check your bank statements
- And while you’re scrutinising your bills, take a close look at your bank statements.
- You may uncover some fees and charges you didn’t realise you were paying, and if that’s the case, negotiate with your bank for a better deal.
- You might also discover some old subscriptions and services you’re paying for without realising it – if so, cancel them!
- Never pay full price
- Keep an eagle eye out for the sales. Nowadays there’s no such thing as sale season, there’s one every other week!
- So for those things you must buy new, head online and to your letterbox for deals and sale catalogues, and save your spending for sale dates.
- One person’s trash is another’s treasure
- Embrace op shops – you won’t believe the wonderful things some people give away!
- Clothes with the tags still on them, accessories, homewares, books and toys…the list goes on.
- Check out charity stores near you and save yourself a small fortune.
- Shop around
- Break any bad shopping habits you may have fallen into with your weekly grocery run. Could you get more bang for your buck elsewhere?
- Competition for your grocery dollar is hot! Keep an eye out for great specials and consider investigating the prices on offer at other nearby supermarkets.
- And beware of these 10 sneaky supermarket tricks that make you spend more!
- Don’t spend – swap!
- When your kids grow out of their clothes or you have stuff you simply don’t need anymore, trade it!
- Build a stuff sharing network with friends – you could even organise a swap meet at someone’s place where you can all bring your hand-me-downs along and benefit from one another.
- Best of all, you all get new stuff without spending a cent!
- Love your library
- Speaking of free stuff – when was the last time your checked out everything on offer at your local library?
- Nowadays your library offers much, much more than just books. From internet and computer access, millions of online movies and DVDs, music and ebooks.
- And there’s free entertainment and educational sessions including kids story time sessions, after school activities for older kids, and author talks and computer courses for adults.
- Car pool
- Not only does all of that running around in Mum’s taxi drive you nuts, it costs a bomb in petrol.
- Build a carpool network with other families who live nearby, and share the driving to and from school, sports and other events.
- Set a roster to share the load. You’ll each get a break and a moment’s peace here and then, as well as save on your car running costs.
- Free babysitting!
- Chances are you don’t get out much because of the huge cost of babysitting.
- Why not start a babysitting club with some other parents, and look after each other’s kids?
- This way each family gets a night out every now and then, and you rotate the babysitting duties between one another.
- Holiday for free
- Dying for a holiday but just can’t stretch the budget to pay for a hotel? Consider a house swap.
- Start your holiday dreaming today – check out websites like Aussie House Swap and HomeExchange, and have a holiday in someone else’s home, while they holiday in yours!
The opportunities for squeezing a little more cash out of the family budget are endless. What’s your top tip?