do you feel like there are money saving secrets that you must be missing? Maybe there are!
Are you spinning your wheels trying to get out of debt? Saving for a better school or opportunity for your kids? Trying to figure out how to stay home with your babies and still make ends meet?
There are definitely things you should be doing to get more “bang for your buck” when it comes to family finances.
Focus on the big expenses first.
Clipping coupons and playing the drugstore game won’t save you if you drive a Lexus and live in a supersized McMansion. Money savvy moms know that there are major expenses and minor expenses and they focus on getting the best possible return on investment in the big 4 catagories.
get your housing cost down
Housing is by far the biggest expense for most families. A quick google search pulled up a ton of articles that advise Americans to budget 30% of their income for housing. Let’s use a nice round number and say your family makes $60,000 each year. That means $1,500 would be the recommended amount to spend on your housing.
The money savvy mom knows that if she can decrease rent or mortgage payments by just $250 a month she will have an extra $3000 by the end of the year. Having a lower cost home usually means sacrificing space but with that sacrifice come added rewards. Smaller houses require less maintenance, take less time to clean, and will drastically reduce your monthly utility bills.
More time with your kids, less time mopping floors and enough money at the end of the year for a
save even more on housing
Other ways to save in the housing category include selling homes without a realtor, renting out your home for short or medium term or buying a
save money by lowering your food and grocery budget
I don’t know about you but my family expects me to make them dinner, like every. single. evening. What’s up with that? There are a ton of ways that savvy moms cut their food budget.
- They don’t spend money eating out. (ok, Chick-fil-et on occasion) but not much outside of that.
- They shop at Aldi. The sketchy Aldi of ten years ago is a distant memory. The new and improved Aldi is my favorite grocery store. If we ever move somewhere without one I might literally cry about it.
- They have a menu plan and they stick to it.
- They are part of the Instant Pot cult following and have freezer meals made to go in them when they don’t feel like cooking.
- They pack their kids school lunches. My gosh, I hate packing lunches but I do it anyway. I purposely don’t open a lunch account for my kids so I can never get lazy and skip making them.
save money on Transportation
Money-savvy moms have minivans or an SUV (if they are still trying to be young and cool). They are just older and more well-loved. Don’t even consider buying a brand new car.
Your kids are going to get mud in it, crush goldfish crackers in it, wear wet swimsuits in it. You get the picture. A safe, reliable used vehicle is your best bet.
Money-savvy moms are also always putting away money each month in an emergency fund just in case they have to replace a vehicle unexpectedly.
save money on Clothing
Money savvy moms buy used clothes. It’s better for your wallet and for the environment.
saIesalways have amazing deals but are less convenient and require planning.
- I love the Once Upon A Child chain for kids clothes.
- Thrift stores like Goodwill in my area have great items.
- Thread up is an awesome online marketplace to both buy and sell used clothes.
- Poshmark is fantastic if you are looking for high quality, name brands that last.
get rid of your debt
Money-savvy moms try to avoid debt at all costs. If they have debt they are working their tails off to get rid of it. My husband and I were fortunate enough to escape college without student loans but most of our friends were still paying them off five years later. Some of them are still chipping away at them over a decade after graduation. That’s a lot of interest down the drain. 🙁
If you need help formulating a debt escape plan I highly recommend the Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball method. We used this to pay off our first car and then moved on to his envelope system.
learn how to Do it yourself
Money-savvy moms know how to roll up their sleeves and get the job done. From faucet replacement to thrifty do it yourself home decor, thrifty moms know how to learn new skills and use them.
I have made my own cloth diaper covers, carefully deconstructed my van’s dashboard to repair the burnt out clock light, built an outdoor patio table and made an awesome gallery wall with thrift store frames. I didn’t know how to do any of those things when I started but Google knows all.
My husband even gets in on the DIY fun. Last year he built some amazing sliding barn doors for our living room and this spring he plans to do some major landscaping in the back yard.
With the power of google and youtube and a little bit of self-confidence, you can save thousands of dollars by doing things yourself. The feeling of accomplishment on a job well done is an added bonus.
Cut REOCCURRING expenses that aren’t saving you money
If you haven’t cut the cable by now it’s time to take the plunge. Paying over $100 a month on entertainment isn’t a money-savvy plan. Look for substitutions in bills like this and make a swap to a cheaper option. For the most part, you won’t even miss what you had before.
Instead of a traditional cable subscription swap it for Netflix only.
Swap out your expensive cell carrier and switch to Republic Wireless. I was so scared to do this but I am so glad I did. My cell phone bill went from $120 a month with AT&T to just $35 with Republic Wireless and that’s for two lines! It’s been almost two year since we switched and I’m super happy with them.
Swap your expensive gym membership for an at home routine especially if you aren’t using it frequently.
Cut your entertainment expenses even further by utilizing your local library’s electronic services such as Hoopla. You can check out audiobooks, music albums and even popular movies with this app from the comfort of your own home. I was a late adopter of this, and basically all technology, but I am loving downloading albums to listen to in the car with the kids.
Start saving today
I know that was a lot of information to digest but if you want to get serious about changing your family finances for the better this is where to start.
- Reduce the amount you’re spending on the items that make up the biggest part of your budget.
- Get serious about eliminating your debt.
- Start learning new skills and DIY as much as you can.
- Cut reoccurring expenses that you will barely even notice.
It will require work but trust me. Employ these steps as soon as possible and you will be a money-savvy mom with less stress and more time and money to do what’s most important. Make lasting memories with your little ones while they’re still little.
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