5 EASY WAYS TO SPEND LESS IN 2019 AS A PARENT

SPENDING LESS MEANS WISE SPENDING AND SAVING THE SURPLUS

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It’s a fact that many of you have spent so much MONEY during the yuletide because of the activities that come with the season. Some of you have to buy new clothes for the kids and yourself, prepare great lunch or dinner for families and friends including visitors.

A few of you organized Christmas parties to mark the end of the year at least say thank you God for all that you’ve gone through and still alive. Respectfully, you should be appreciative to your maker for protecting you and your family. In deed you’ve every course to be grateful.

However, many parents get into trouble in the new year because they are cash trapped, having spent the little money at their disposal in the previous year because they over spent. So going into this New Year, there are few things you can do to get your money issues on course and live stress free financial life.

1. DEFINE or PLAN HOW MUCH TO SPEND IN THE MONTH

Having a budget restrict you as to how much to spend weekly or monthly. I know we all struggle to prepare a budget because of the fear that we would not be able to follow the budget through and through.

If you are an impulse buyer like my wife, or you just don’t know where your cash passes every month, sit down and write down every purchase you make and calculate how much you spend on each item. Gather the courage to do this. I know many people don’t want to do this because they thought the money involve is too small to matter. Having a realistic thinking about how you are spending your money will go a long way to control wastage of your hard cash. Are you spending on clothes, shoes, necklaces, you would never wear? Remember the idea is to spend less and save the excess

  There’s no point in spending your money on having fun if you can’t afford it. Get a bit serious about how you spend your money if you need to save more than you are making in order to guarantee your financial freedom and less money worry.

If you know you spend too much on certain thing such as new gadget and app, look for a cheaper alternative in your local shop. You can contact your customer service unit of your bank to help you plan your spending in a fixed but convenient way.  Some of these banks would be delighted to help you break your account spending down in a clear and flexible way.

Creating a budget has been made easy by a number of websites that use excel to simplify the planning process. I have put up simple steps for you to follow and modify to suit your peculiar situations.

Step 1: Note your net income. The first step in creating a budget is to identify the amount of money you have coming in.  This should include all types of incomes that you receive by the end of the month.

Step 2: Track your spending. Take a note with you and write down every expenditure you make in the course of the day. Don’t gross over any expenses

Step 3: Set your goals.  Know in clear terms and in advance; what important thing you spend your money on. This will compel you to focus on that one thing that is important to you.

Step 4: Make a plan. Calculate how much you’ve got to spend on each item on your important list

Step 5: Adjust your habits if necessary. If prices of item have change you must also do same by adjust your budget to reflect the reality in the market.

Step 6: Keep checking in. This will enable you to know whether there’s something you must or change

You need to try and have a budget so that you can manage your income effectively because New Year statutory demands such as school fees payment, new uniforms, clothes, shoes, text books, etc. will be knocking at your door and you have to face them squarely.

I want you to see your budget as an opportunity to use your money wisely than you did last year so that you don’t go through the visual cycle of financial distress. The better your financial life is the healthier the family life.

2. PLAN WHAT THE FAMILY EAT

It’s important to note that a huge chuck of your income will be spent on food, so start planning how much you want to spend on what the family eat every week, every month and every year. According to USA today, the average America household spend 90% of their income on food. (https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/budget-and-spending/2018/05/08/how-does-average-american-spend-paycheck/34378157/

So try preparing your own meal as much as you can. You can seriously cut costs if you start planning your food properly each week and doing a single big shop. This is particularly easy to do if you shop online because many supermarkets have tools to help you plan meals. You can even order a whole meal’s worth of ingredients with the click of a button

If you spend 5$ a day on restaurant, that will amount to 25$ a week and 100$ a month. Is there not another way to cut this cost? Have you factored in what the kids will also spend if you have one? Make your lunches at home if possible. You can plan for a dinner a day and cook meals from scratch. This will reduce the amount on waste by making ingredients stretch across two meals instead of chucking the rest out.

There are great sites online that will teach you how to prepare a variety of meals even if you are not cut out for cooking. In this age and time there’s nothing you can’t learn to do, so don’t take chances with your money at all this year. Let every cent, shilling, etc. count on your food budget. I know you want to save some money this year and I wish to do same to.

Good housekeeping has a variety of meals you can lean to prepare immediately. You can visit them at https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/easy/g4900/easy-make-ahead-meals/ 1. Make a budget.

The “B” word doesn’t have to be a terrible one. For a lot of people, it implies spreadsheets and hours spent poring over said spreadsheets. Picking a number is actually pretty simple — the USDA has a chart that’ll do it for you — and then you just have to stick to that number. Because it’s a lot harder to stay on budget when you don’t have a budget to begin with!

More on Setting a Grocery Budget

The Best Budget Grocery Shopping Advice from People Who Never Overspend on Food

This Is How Much You Should Spend on Food and Groceries

 1. Make a budget.

The “B” word doesn’t have to be a terrible one. For a lot of people, it implies spreadsheets and hours spent poring over said spreadsheets. Picking a number is actually pretty simple — the USDA has a chart that’ll do it for you — and then you just have to stick to that number. Because it’s a lot harder to stay on budget when you don’t have a budget to begin with!

2. Start meal planning.

Perhaps the best way to spend less money on food is to start meal planning. (It also helps take the stress out of weeknight dinners!) Not sure where to start? We’ve got you.

3. And packing lunch.

Instead of dropping $10 a day on a mediocre sandwich from the corner deli, start packing your lunch. You can bring food you actually want to eat without spending a ton of money.

4. Organize your pantry.

If you can’t easily see what’s in your pantry (or fridge or freezer), you risk buying ingredients that you already have. This is a waste of money because one of the duplicates is almost always going to spoil before you can use it. Get those spaces organized and check — like, really check — to see what you have before you head to the store.

Steal these tricks: The Most Brilliant Pantry Organization Hacks on the Internet

5. Be a smarter grocery shopper.

Don’t use coupons to buy stuff you weren’t already planning on buying. Know how to compare prices. Consider the store brand instead of the name brand. You’ve got this!

6. Embrace leftovers.

You’d be surprised how many people tell us they’re just not into leftovers. We always assume that also means they’re not into saving money, right? Eating leftovers helps cut back on waste — and it helps stretch a dollar a little further.

7. Cut back on the coffee shop runs.

Yes, there are some who would argue that going out for coffee is totally worth it, but if you’re trying to stop spending money on coffee, the best way to do so is to make it at home.

8. Cool it with the takeout.

You don’t need us to tell you that takeout adds up much faster than groceries do. In one year, a co-founder of The Financial Diet spent $418.01 on takeout alone. Then, she took a look to see what else she could have done with that money and it was … um, motivational, to say the least.

9. Or at least start using this trick.

If you’re set on having takeout for dinner, try taking advantage of lunch specials. Most restaurants offer crazy-good deals to draw in the crowds during the day. Pick up a special during lunch, stash it in your office fridge, and the reheat it when you get home for dinner. For further reading and clarification, please go to the site below

Since the food components take so much of your pay check or income I have explore a number of good sites in this post to make your work easy for you:

3. DO ASSESSMENT OF YOUR PREVIOUS STATUTORY PAYMENT INCLUDING BILLS

By now you have a fix idea about how much you’ve paid for rent, electricity, mortgage, gas and tax last year. These are payments that will continue to engage your attention but some are things you can do something about. Take for instance your electricity consumption and that of gas . Is it possible to exchange your high energy consumption fridge and other old gadgets to a new energy serving fridge and low high tech appliances?

Most of the wastage in our energy consumption can be dealt with if we plan to cut down single ironing instead of doing bulk ironing and reduce the use of the water heater. Evaluate how you use your gas and reduce things you warm or heat quiet often. Wait until you are ready for diner before warming the food. Don’t forget that nobody can manage your money and budget better that you.

Many households are guilty about their bills payment when they could shop around for much better deals. Utility bills are a great example that face every household. Explore ways to spend less and save more in this area.

Have you tried using Uswitch? It is a simple service to use. It compares your current gas and electricity bills against what you could be paying if you switched to their service. You may save hundreds of dollars or pounds on your bills just by filling in a form online to switch provider.

It’s not just utility bills that household could benefit by being proactive. When your phone contract is coming to an end, you could talk to a competitor firms to see what their best offers are and how you can benefit from their service. At the end of the day you should be spending less money and saving a few dollars or pounds into your investment fund or emergency fund. This a wise money management

You can also go back to your current service provider and have a discussion with them. If they can’t provide better alternative to what you’ve been offered elsewhere, tell them and give them  time to respond to your request. You never know they may give it a thought and fashion out something that will meet your need so as to convince you to stay. No company is readily to lose a customer.

Internet, TV,  insurance are other bills that you must confront every month and every bill payment is an opportunity to save money by getting a better deal somewhere else. You get a great deal by spending less provided you are ready to scout widely.

4. CHOOSE ALTERNATIVE FORMS OF TRANSPORT IF AVAILABLE

We all have to travel to and from work and this also form a big component of our daily expenses. This type of expenses can’t be eliminated so far as your movement is concerned. But how we travel to work is sometimes our own choice and preferences.

Is it always necessary to really catch a bus to the station, or you could walk briskly to the station? If you register a motor bike or a bicycle that you could use instead of driving to work, you would by saving some money in this area. Can you catch a bus instead of the train? Could you carpool with colleagues going to the same direction or area?

Don’t be surprised just how quickly spare change adds up into a big amount. It may seem an old way of saving but it’s very effective in the long round. Put all of your loose change in a small container. Anytime your wallet is rattling, empty it into the container.

 When the container is full take it to the bank. They have machines you can pour your saved coins into and it will do all the calculations for you; which you can then deposit straight into your account.

There’s is a new app named Moneybox. If you’re too modern and cashless for loose change, this app can track your spending and offers you the chance to round up each transaction to the nearest dollars or pounds, depositing the difference into a savings or investment account for you according to your choice of account.

People say this app is the digital equivalent of a piggy bank but the good thing is that it pays interest on your money rather than just let it sit on your shelf bring in nothing.

5. YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN GIFTS TO PRESENT INSTEAD OF BUYING

A lot of household waste plenty of money on presents to friends and family during the Christmas or on birthdays. It is well and good if you plan ahead for it and your budget can afford it. However there’s a cheaper alternative in making gifts instead buying them. Visit https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins

These type of gift make lasting impression because they are tailored to only that special person and they are not commonly available in the shop. You could make hampers of homemade goods such as jams. Or a photo album of special memories. Or make a decorative item of any kind. There are app at Pinterest to help you achieve all these ends.

We’ve been able to discuss 5 reasons to spend less as a responsible parent so that you can save to invest the little LEFT for the future of the family. Try and practice what you’ve learnt so as to improve your financial life better than it was last year.

Stay blessed!

Emmanuel

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