Top 5 Family Budgeting Tips

| August 31, 2012
Family Budgeting Tips

Family Budgeting Tips

Kids are expensive. Very expensive. According to HSBC, parents spend approximately 166,000 British PoundsĀ on raising their first child. Not all families can afford such an expense, but many costs associated with children are essential. Some, of course, are frivolous or unnecessary. Provided below are five simple budgeting tips for parents who are concerned about their finances.

1. Forget the Joneses

Keeping up with the Joneses is arguably one of the main reasons why people in the UK succumb to debt. Parents should forget about the cold war that exists between neighbours, friends and family. If Bob and Mary buy a new car, build a conservatory or go on holiday to Outer Mongolia, parents should only follow suit if they can afford to do so.

Saving money by ignoring peer pressure involves no half measures; parents must completely detach themselves from the game. No new car. No property extension. No expensive holidays. Budget-conscious parents should cut their losses and concentrate on saving money. The Joneses can only win the game if somebody else is playing.

2. Find Value in Second-Hand Goods

Not every item bought for a child has to be new. Parents spend so much money on their first child in part because they are covering virgin territory. Subsequent children are invariably cheaper to clothe and entertain because tops, bibs, booties, rattles and squeezable, squeaky toys can be passed down from one child to the next. What some parents fail to realise, however, is that the first-born child need not have everything new.

Though the prospect of purchasing second-hand items for a child might be unsettling for some parents, the majority of used items for sale are of good quality. Babies and children grow quickly, so why waste money on expensive clothes when second-hand garments are just as good and far less costly? Buying second-hand toys can also help parents save cash in the early years of a child’s life.

Parents can also recover money on clothes and toys that their children no longer need. If items are in good condition they can be sold at a car boot sale, on a market stall or through an online auction site such as eBay.

3. Write a Food Plan

Perhaps the most simple tip also happens to be the most effective on a day-to-day basis. Food prices are increasing and many people neglect to adequately budget for weekly or monthly shopping. To help save money, a food plan should be written to ensure that costs are kept under control.

4. Apply for State Benefits

Most people are aware of the state benefits that can be paid during unemployment, but not everyone realises that Child Tax Credits can be claimed by low to middle-income families. The entitlement varies from one household to the next, but all parents should find out what may be owed to them, even if the amount is relatively small. The extra cash can cover a temporary shortfall, be used for weekly expenses or deposited into a tax-free ISA. On this note, a professional audit of household finances might also be useful. Home to many top accountants Manchester has become one of the largest financial districts outside London, so there is no shortage of professional help in the area for families concerned about tax, savings and other financial matters.

5. Always Shop Around for Everything

Finally, parents should never accept the first offer they receive without investigating alternative suppliers. They should never be content with what they have. Shopping around for discounts on insurance, utilities, mortgages and other important services is essential for saving money.

Guest post by Tony, a UK personal finance blogger on behalf of accountants in Warrington, Mitchell Charlesworth.

Top 5 Family Budgeting Tips

Tags:

Category: Finances

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.