Finding ways to cut costs is always important, but with the current economic crisis upon us, it is more important now than ever. Supporting a family is no easy task, and breadwinners throughout the UK need all the help they can get. Fortunately, there are thousands of simple budgeting and saving strategies you can implement to help make ends meet without having to make major sacrifices.
Make Cheap Outings
Getting the kids out of the house and active is a necessity for every family, but it doesn’t have to cost anything. Head to the coast or public park instead of the theme park or arcade. Go for a hike in the woods. Play sports at the local community center. There are hundreds of inexpensive or free local outings that can replace those costly weekend activities. Remember to pack a lunch and take public transit if possible.
Your kids might not be so keen on hand-me-downs, but your bank account will be. Save money by altering your own clothes and putting your own spin on them, not only is it fun, but you will be designing you own clothes unique clothes. Mend rather than replace torn trousers. Make your clothing investments last, and your family will make huge savings throughout the year.
Turn off lights and heaters when away from home. Only heat or cool the rooms being used. Eliminate drafts, keep windows and doors shut whenever possible, and unplug unused appliances. Also, switch to energy efficient bulbs, and take shorter showers. Utility bills are a significant expense, and can often be reduced drastically with a bit of conservation.
Utilize Online Deals
The Internet is a powerful tool for family savings. Sites like vouchercloud.com and Groupon can be excellent ways to find great deals on everything ranging from clothes to family outings to groceries. Social media sites also offer a great way to connect with those selling cheap goods and services. Clipping coupons is a lot easier than it used to be. Today, a quick online search can lead to substantial savings.
Planning Makes All the Difference
Simple budgeting and conscientious planning is the most important tool for families trying to cut costs. Eliminate unnecessary expenses by only buying what you know you need. Don’t spend time browsing shops and making spontaneous purchases. If you need it, go out and buy it. Otherwise, keep that pocketbook tightly shut.
Shop Around (At Home)
In addition to voucher sites and the countless sales to be found online, the web is also a great tool for shopping around. If you can find it at the local department store, chances are you can find it online, too––often for a lot less. Invest the time to track down the lowest price, and remember to always look at what options are available for used items on sites like Craigslist and Ebay. Over time, wise online shopping will make a big difference in your budget.
The most important thing to remember is that spending money is easy. It requires more effort and time to find free or inexpensive alternatives. But if your family wants to save money, you have to get creative. With a bit of forethought and ingenuity, saving can be both fun and fulfilling.
This is a guest post. Kirsten is a freelance writer for Voucher Cloud. She loves everything to do with saving money whether it is bargain hunting or altering used clothes or furniture.
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