6 Ways to Save Money on Family Expenses

(Credit: 6 Ways to Save Money on Family Expenses) 6 Ways to Save Money on Family Expenses
November 8
10:17 PM 2019

It's all over the news-the economy is booming. But at the end of the month your bills are due, and you're not feeling the impact of the boom on your pocketbook. You may find yourself wondering how you can start saving in the short-term so you can best set your family up for long-term financial success.

Here are six simple ways to save money on everyday family expenses. 

1. Pay Attention to Coupons

The old saying is true: every dollar counts. This is especially true when it comes to couponing.

When you think of coupons, you probably conjure up images of your mother cutting along the dotted lines within the weekly flyer that landed on the doorstop. As a child, this may have looked more like an arts and crafts project than a financial tactic. However, many find it possible to save hundreds of dollars each month by couponing. 

Surprisingly, these flyers still exist and have a wealth of savings inside of them if you take the time to look.

Many shoppers automatically assume they are getting the best deals because they have a frequent shopper or rewards card. Don't be fooled -these loyalty programs are just the tip of the iceberg. Take the time to look through printed flyers and see what savings you can take advantage of. 

It's also common to get additional coupons if you sign up for store newsletters or email lists. Digital coupons are hassle-free because the cashier can scan them right off your phone. No scissors needed, as there's likely an app for that! 

2. Turn Family out Nights into Family in Nights

It's Friday night and the family is looking for something to do. What's your first reaction? If you're like a lot of Americans, you may take the family to a movie or go out to dinner. 

While that's a great way to spend time with your family, it can get expensive when done frequently. A family of three recently reported that they spent over $30,000 in one year just by dining out. This is more common than you think. 

For example, if you go out to eat for lunch during work five days a week and spend an average of $10 per meal, you'll spend $2,500 over the course of one year. That can be cut in half if you bring a prepared lunch into work each day!

If you're planning a family night at the movies, you can expect to drop about $80 for a family of four. Was the two-hour experience worth it?

Instead of spending money you can't afford, consider alternative ways to spend time together, like a family game night.

Every week, let a different member of the family choose what game to play. Shut the TV off, put on some music, and enjoy your time together. You'll probably find it much more fulfilling than dinner and a movie. And it's free.

3. Carpool

You've heard about this idea for years, but have you ever actually done it? Consider how much money you spend on gas every month getting to and from work. Many commuters spend hundreds of dollars every month on gas, not to mention the long-term costs of wear and tear on the vehicle.

Chances are, there is someone who lives near you that either works at your company or another business close by. Set up a mutually beneficial arrangement with them where you swap weeks driving. This will cut your gas budget in half. There are even some carpool and rideshare services that will help you coordinate with others in your area. 

Carpooling will also cut your commuting carbon footprint in half, which is a bonus.

4. Check Out Thrift Stores

Thrift stores are great places to find amazing deals on new or like-new things like clothes, office and school supplies, kitchen items, seasonal decorations, Halloween costumes and so much more. When's the last time you walked into a thrift store to see what they have to offer?

When it's back to school time for the kids, check the thrift stores first and see how much money you can save on clothing and supplies. When the holidays are around the corner and you want to decorate the house, you'll save a lot of money by checking out the thrift store deals before heading to a big box store or shopping online.

5. Stop at Garage Sales

How many Saturdays have you been heading to the store and driven past several garage sales? When is the last time you've stopped at one?

The next time you see a garage or yard sale, pull over and see what's available. When you buy items like toys, appliances, children's clothing, books or decorations at a garage sale, you'll be spending pennies on the dollar from what you'd expect to pay in a store.

They're worth checking out.

6. Understanding Your Financial Options 

No matter how frugal you are, there will always be unexpected financial emergencies. From medical expenses to home repairs, you will probably find yourself in a financial pinch at one time or another. 

When this happens, take a realistic look at your finances. Research what you can do to reduce the chances of long-term debt and exorbitant monthly payments. Lines of credit can be an option for solving short-term and unexpected financial emergencies if you don't have enough in savings to cover it. You can apply for a line of credit loan online and coordinate a payment plan that is easily managed within your allocated budget.

Although it's best to use whatever savings you have to cover an emergency, sometimes there's just not enough. Remember that when you do opt for a credit line, only procure the amount you need and get it paid off as soon as possible to avoid paying unnecessary interest fees.

Saving Money Made Easy

With these six simple tips, you'll be well on your way to having more money at the end of each month.

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