In this uncertain economy, many stay-at-home moms are saving big by adopting smarter shopping habits, stricter budgets, and eliminating unnecessary luxury items. Like these moms, you can make some small changes in your life in order to save more money. As financial expert, Suze Orman, suggests, “By taking care of yourself financially, you will truly be able to take care of those you love.” You can be a money-saving mama, more financially in control, and with a bigger budget for the things that matter most.
You don’t have to become one of those coupon-clipping moms from the television, but you shouldn’t avoid clipping altogether. Some women treat coupons like they’re a full-time job. Others take one afternoon a week to clip the coupons they’re most likely to use.
Coupons are for more than groceries. You can find coupons for everything from brand name electronics to clothing. You may find a valuable drugstore promo code or travel savings. Check in your weekly newspaper and online for coupons. Sign up for email alerts from your favorite brands and you may find money-saving coupons are randomly emailed to you.
Kids Eat Free
Many websites offer free meals for kids, when the adults in a family order from the regular menu. Instead of paying full price for everyone, try to only eat at those restaurants that offer free meals for children.
A strict budget is essential when you’re living on a single income. Create weekly and monthly budgets, with areas for projected and actual spending. This shows you where you’ve saved and how much. If there’s a surplus of money, put it into your savings account for a future vacation or larger home payment.
You can visually see where funds are being allocated and how much spending money you have for the week. You may find that you’re overspending on unnecessary expenses and not enough on your mortgage and car loans. For instance, if your husband travels frequently and is consistently overspending when parking at Newark, it may be a good idea to invest in a monthly parking pass.
Prepare Meals at Home
Student lunches typically cost around $3, for an average monthly spending of $60. This $60 could help pay a bill or add to savings, so why not pack your children’s lunch? If you’re already couponing for inexpensive groceries, than you have the low-cost items on hand to prepare meals at home.
If your kids prefer what’s being served at school, try and find out if you can mimic those recipes. Another great way to get kids on board is to allow them to pick out a lunch pail with their favorite characters depicted on it. Your husband should be a little easier to sway. He likely finds your homemade leftovers more appealing that what they’re serving in the office cafeteria.
Trim the Fat
Easily the best way to add a couple hundred dollars to your monthly savings is getting rid of luxury items you don’t need. If you’re paying for a monthly cable television subscription, complete with subscription channels, you’re costing yourself upwards of $250 a month. You should consider downgrading or cancelling this service altogether.
It’s important to not overspend on your credit cards either. Avoid luxury items, by keeping credit cards tucked away for emergencies only. Spend only what you can afford and then save the rest of your money. This is one of the best ways to build a savings and save your family some extra dough. Who knows? If you follow these tips, you may just find yourself relaxing on a beach for a quality family vacation soon.