With a new study highlighting the rise of ‘generation pause’ – the 20 and 30 somethings who are choosing to delay life events like getting married or buying a house due to financial concerns – it’s clear that it’s important to budget from an early age. I’ll admit, I was fairly useless with money until I met Mr P. I racked up credit card debt and student loans, having to rely on my parents to bail me out. But during my 20s, I learned to be more sensible with money.
TSB, who have a handy mortgage calculator on their site, have asked me to share my family budgeting tips with everyone. So here goes…
1. Upcycle furniture or buy cheaper bits that you can transform. I’m a huge fan of an IKEA hack. Inspired by Gill from A Baby On Board, I bought these Bekvam spice racks for £3 each (see pic at top), asked Mr P nicely to paint them white, and put washi tape on them, to turn them into book shelves for the four-year-old’s bedroom.
2. Plan meals. We used to be so bad at just deciding what to eat for tea that day, and popping to the shop to buy the food in. It saves money (and time) now that we plan our meals each week, and buy veg that will do us for a couple of days.
3. Shop around. We love popping to Waitrose for treats, as much as the next person, but we also shop around, depending on supermarket offers (tip: Tesco has my fave wine Villa Maria on offer this week and Co-op has a great prosecco for £6.99) and we shop in Lidl for our basics.
4. Use eBay. Not only do we look for bargains (last week, I bought a bundle of second hand Boden/Gap/Joules clothes for the four-year-old for £12) but we sell things too. Clothes our little one didn’t wear much and has now grown out of, toys, we’re even thinking of selling a M&S armchair on there.
5. Check out Freecycle. My mum got an awesome scooter from Freecycle (for her granddaughter, not herself…) and we’ve just given away our old baby change unit on it. You can get some brilliant freebies from people who just want to get rid of stuff quickly.
6. Buy out of season. I don’t mean food, here, I mean clothing and toys. Right now, for example, you could probably pick up a great kids’ swimming costume for a bargain price. Or t-shirts and shorts. Or beach toys and garden toys. Just work out what size your child will need next summer. Likewise, when it’s warm, keep an eye out for woolly hats, scarves, pumpkin carving kits and Christmas cupcake toppers.
7. Use vouchers on days out. Whether it’s a Pizza Express deal or a 2 for 1 offer at London Zoo, when you travel by train, we love saving on our weekend day trips.
What kind of things do you to, to budget and save money as a family?
• Thanks to TSB for working with Not Another Mummy Blog. For details on how I work with brands see my Work With Me page.