Raising kids is a major feat and responsibility on its own, throw in trying to turn over the pennies and it starts to feel almost impossible. There are so many small expenses that slip past without you even realising it and at the end of the month you look back and you’ve gone way over budget.
Make sure your rands don’t slip through the cracks by keeping a simple, easy to use, budget. It can be hard to find specific budgeting tips for parents, so we have come up with 5 quick and easy to implement tips that will have your family saving money and getting ahead financially in no time.
Eat and Shop Smart
We spend most of our waking life eating or deciding what to eat, especially when you throw kids into the mix. It can often just be easier to grab a readymade meal from the Pick n Pay deli or make a turn at the MacDonalds drive through on the way home from picking the children up at school. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of money miraculously goes “missing.” We are literally eating our money away.
We suggest buying food in bulk and preparing your meals before the hunger strikes and the kids start crying. Not only will you be saving money, but you will also be making the healthier decision when it comes to your physical health and nutrition. Who wants to choose a salad when they’re hungry like a lion?
Don’t Overbuy and Use What You Have
The second tip in our list of budgeting tips for parents is to use what you already have and only to buy items you really need. Keep an inventory of everything you do have, from toiletries and groceries to clothes for the kids and only buy new items when you have run out or are about to run out. Another piece of advice is to do a spring clean and donate or throw out everything you have that you don’t need. This way you can keep track of what you do own more easily.
Often parents waste money on buying multiples of the same items because we don’t finish the open item first (yes, cereals, I’m talking about you). Figure out what your family needs and uses and shop accordingly.
If you are serious about budgeting and saving money, you should consider making green changes. Although this might seem counter-intuitive because “green” items are often seen as expensive, but this is changing fast. The green movement is taking the world by storm and many companies are working hard to create more affordable eco-friendly alternatives. One of our best budgeting tips for parents is buy reusable items, like water bottles, straws, kitchen towels, etc. Buying reusable items cuts these items completely out of your monthly shopping list.
Another way to save money and the planet is to choose thrifted or 2nd hand clothes for you and your family. People are always selling cute clothes on Facebook Marketplace and apps like Yaga, never mind bringing in “hand-me-downs” from family members or friends with kids.
Cut Down on the Luxuries
Other than take-out, we often spend a little too much on luxuries. This would be items like coffees, sweets and chocolates, toys for our kids because they are throwing a tantrum in the middle of Checkers. These items are ridiculously expensive and limiting yourself to a only a few a week can drastically help with your budget. Try to even work in a few “no-spend” days every week.
Subscriptions are also an expense that can drain your cash in no time. We suggest doing an audit of your subscriptions and deciding what you can downgrade and which subscriptions you can dump altogether. Does one really need Netflix, DSTV, AND Showmax?
Choose Money Smart Activities
Our final budgeting tip for parents is to choose family activity that cost little to no money. Go hiking or to a nearby park. Take a stroll and explore your neighbourhood, go to the beach or walk the mall in the morning before all the shops open. This time spend with your kids is often what they remember as super special when they become adults.