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Since being on a single income I have found several things that helped our growing family with money. Remember these things have helped my family some tips may help yours. Trial and error are important when budgeting.
One thing before getting started with my tips is first you and your partner really have to sit down and think about whether you are willing to make the sacrifices of having one of you stay home. Having one income can be stressful especially when you aren’t 100% sure if it is the right thing to do for your family.
1. Coupons and Scouting Deals
This is really important for budgeting. When it comes to finding deals this can easily save money whether it is a dollar or a few trust me this adds up!
For example, I buy my clothes, household items, pretty much anything through garage sales and second-hand stores. I bought two onesies originally from carters they were both very well taken care of I got them both for 3$ when normally for two onesies brand new would’ve cost 10 to 15$.
Also during the summer, it is a fantastic idea to go to some farmers markets! Or if you are lucky like us we live right down the street from a year-round farmers market. We love getting fresh fruit and veggies for cheaper prices!
Lastly, I try to find stores that have ways to collect points or give me ways to save more money through their digital coupons. I use the Kroger plus cards a lot when there are things at Aldi they don’t sell. The card allows me to use digital coupons as well as saving me a few cents on deals. I would take saving 131.45 any day!
2. Low-Cost Living
This is one thing we practice. I didn’t know what low-cost living exactly was but once I learned about it, it was like *Face Palm* why didn’t I think of that before?
Low-cost living basically means that you should try to live below your means. Instead of buying a bigger nicer house settle for something less or instead of having 2-3 cars see if it’s possible even to just have one. This is one thing that we had to decide on as a family we know using one car could be tough but it would save us on gas and insurance. We went from spending 550 on insurance to just 230 after getting rid of one of our cars.
3. Reuse and Preserve
Have certain foods that don’t last long? Or that you just have too much of? Learn ways to preserve food our grandparents and great-grandparents practiced this during wartime food was rationed money was tight! during this time it was a priority to find ways to keep their food to last longer.
Article on modern-day canning.
Another cool thing I learned is reusing old linens is another way to save money. Raggedy sheets, towels, and t-shirts can be turned into burp clothes or clothing rags for cleaning. These things can easily be rewashed and reused for more than just its initial purpose.
Here is an idea for turning old towels into a bath mat rug!
4. Cut your Grocery Bill
One of my favorite grocery stores is Aldi. I get their weekly ads in the mail so I try to scout for deals and I try to match up the deals with our meal planning.
I try to figure out simple inexpensive meals that will last. Instead of looking for your next meal on pinterest think of simple recipes. Pinterest typically doesn’t give very simple recipes, they usually require multiple things which can add up on the receipt.
5. Use found money, raises, and bonuses towards big surprise expenses
Found money is just coins or leftover change that can easily be put into a jar. When the jar is full you can take the found money to the bank in the coin machine. Did you know that if you put in 75 cents into a jar every single day for a whole year by the end you will have 273$.
Article on Jar Money Management
It doesn’t seem like much but with towing away change and putting away more money as your partner gets more raises and putting away at least 40% of his annual bonuses this money adds up quick when it isn’t touched.
6. Going over your budget twice a month
Going over the budget regularly can be big. This way you and your partner are on the same page with what has been spent/saved. Going over it regularly you can see if it needs to be changed or if what you are both doing is working. Communicating and monitoring your budget is important. Need something to keep track of your budget plans try this planner .
Prioritizing is something that every person with a budget talks about the difference is actually doing it and it can be hard. You and your partner need to sit down and agree on what things you are both willing to give up on so one of you can stay home. For us, that is not buying video games and eating out.
8. No more Debt
Debt can be crushing. Right now I am almost done paying off my student loans that’s the only debt we have also limited ourselves to one credit card, we all know how dangerous credit cards can be.
We only use our credit card for things we already have the money for gas and groceries. We don’t use it for any other purchases that way the money we owe doesn’t add up to much.
Dave Ramsey is incredibly helpful when it comes to getting out of debt and giving more educated advice on this stuff here are some links to some of his books!
If you have any other helpful tips that you found helps you and your family comment down below to let me know what I missed!
Check out last week’s post!