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Top five moneysaving tips for families
A quick scan of the headlines reveals that most of us are suffering as a result of the recession. Families seem to feel the effects most acutely, as their outgoings are higher than those of single people or working couples.
But what if you’re saving for a family home, a holiday in the sun, or you just want to free up extra cash to get a little more enjoyment out of life? Read on for the top five moneysaving tips for families.
- Appraise – expenditure is the watchword when it comes to saving; we need to reduce this to increase surplus cash. Make a spreadsheet with all your outgoings on it. Next divide them into two groups: ‘Essential’ and ‘Non-essential’. Any non-essentials need to be heavily scrutinised and chopped if they are not providing value for money. Health club memberships are great if you use them regularly, but if your feet haven’t touched the gym floor in the last two months, you might want to consider cutting out this expense. Also, can you ask a family member to look after the children instead of paying for childcare? These are the sort of questions that could save you money by asking.
- Compare providers – you cannot live without the essentials but this doesn’t mean you can’t get a better price than the ones you’re getting. You can find out if you’re getting the best deals by shopping around. Comparing utilities like gas, water and electricity could yield big savings. Also, the average mobile phone user overpays by around £194 per year, so this could be an area in which you could benefit by switching. For teens, Tesco mobile allows you to put a cap on mobile monthly spend so you never have to worry about unexpected high bills.
- Go Green - A way of further reducing the utility bills spends is to minimise unnecessary waste. Installing a water brick in the cistern, turning off the tap when you brush your teeth, and opting for showers instead of baths are all good ways of reducing your water usage. Installing solar panels and getting rid of the tumble dryer in favour of a heated clotheshorse will save you a packet as well.
- Eating and drinking – food is a major expense for families, so to reduce the cost in this area, try switching to supermarket own brands where possible. You might want to try and eat less meat and get creative with your vegetarian cooking. Switching to packed lunches instead of school dinners – and instead of shop bought lunches for the adults – could save you a small fortune. Investing a cafetiere and ground coffee is a cheaper and pleasant alternative to buying coffees every day.
- Transport – do you have two cars? Can both of them accommodate the whole family? Could you do with just the one? Is your car economical? These are all questions to ask yourself if you are looking to save. Cars in general are expensive to keep on the road, so if you can cut back in this area, be it trading the two cars in for one or switching to a more economically friendly option, then this will help you save for your goal.
This information was provided to you by Allianz Your Cover (www.yourcoverinsurance.co.uk).