Spring is finally here, and that means new hopes and fresh starts for many of us. If you’ve recently had a new baby, or you’ve been struggling to make ends meet with your family for a while now, then this new season could be the perfect opportunity for you to save some much-needed cash and cure your aching bank account.
While saving plenty of cash sounds do-able in theory – it’s often more difficult than you would expect to stop buying yourself cups of coffee first thing in a morning or splurging on takeaway when you’re tired after a long day with the kids. Fortunately, the following tips could help.
1. Don’t Use Your Card
Countless studies have shown that using a debit or credit card means that you’re more likely to overspend. When you’re not physically handing money over to someone, it doesn’t feel like you’re losing anything. Cards can make it easier to overlook how much you’re spending.
A good way to reduce your cash flow is to make credit and debit cards a last-resort only. This means that you go out each day with the money you need to spend in your pocket, and you stick to that amount. Only if something is an absolute emergency should you call on the cards.
2. Reduce Your Bills
As a parent, it can be incredibly difficult to find places you can cut down on your budget. After all, the chances are you’re already spending as little money as you can. However, you might be able to reduce the amount you spend on bills just by switching to a different provider or re-thinking your current package.
For instance, look at comparison websites online and find out if you can reduce your gas and electricity bills. On the other hand, you could always think about getting rid of the services you don’t use often. For instance, do you really need all the channels you pay for on your television package? As a parent, you might not have a lot of time to sit and watch TV, and if you do, it’s more likely that you’ll be watching streaming channels in today’s digital world.
3. Resist Takeout Temptation
We all enjoy a takeaway from time to time, but if you’re buying several pizzas a week, then you’re going to be wasting a lot of money. Not only will cutting down on your takeout spend help you to save money, but it could also assist if you want to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle too. A good way to reduce your risk of splurging on fast food is to plan your meals in advance.
At the end of each week, make a list of what you’re going to eat in the following days, and try to do any meal-prep you can ahead of time too. If you just have to pull something out of the freezer and throw it in the oven, that can make life much easier.
4. Make Some Money for Fun!
Usually, when people start thinking about Spring saving and budgeting, they think about depriving themselves of all the things they enjoy – but it doesn’t necessarily have to be like that. You could start stashing part of your cash away into an account or space that’s designed specifically for things you enjoy – like going out to the cinema with the kids or going for a drive somewhere special.
If you think you’ll struggle to find the extra cash you need for a “fun” fund, then you can always look for new ways to make money during the spring. For instance, since you’re likely to be spring-cleaning your home anyway, consider creating a pile of objects that you can sell online in exchange for some much-needed cash. Alternatively, you could explore some crafty options for creating items you can sell on websites like Etsy and eBay.
5. Exchange the Gym for the Great Outdoors
Finally, if part of your monthly budget is going to a gym membership, Spring is the perfect time to change all that. Instead of wasting your cash on a room with a treadmill, take advantage of all the ways that you can get active outside instead! Now that the weather is a little better, you can go for a run in nature, rather than staring at a boring indoor wall.
What’s more, getting outside for exercise is a great way to spend some time bonding with the kids. You could take them swimming, go for a bike ride, or even check out near-by places where you can hike together.