We all want more money, but have you stopped to look at where you may be wasting your money?
Like a leaky tap that drips little by little, you don’t realize how much of your money is draining away. Well, let’s be smart and “plug up the leaks”. Putting on my thinking cap, here are some ways I think families can stop wasting their money.
1. Plan your grocery shopping
Don’t head out to the hypermarket without a shopping list. If you don’t plan what you want to buy, you’ll end up buying more than you need. If you are bringing your children along, let them know in advance what you will and will not allow. For example, you will allow one treat and no toys. Let them know you are shopping for essentials and not for whatever catches their fancy. You must be disciplined too and stick to your list. Don’t be distracted. Oh, and don’t go shopping when you are hungry. Definitely extra stuff will end up in your shopping cart.
2. Take advantage of sales, coupons and discounts
Do a bit of homework before you begin shopping. See which items are on sale and which stores have better prices on the items you want to buy. Maybe there are coupons that you can use too.
3. Don’t waste food
How much food do you throw away? Do you have a tendency to cook too much or buy too much food? I know that you don’t want your kids to go hungry. I feel the same way. But food wastage is one way money leaks out of the pocket.
4. Plan your meals
Eating in is certainly more economical than eating out, especially if you have many mouths to feed. If you can plan your meals for the week, it makes grocery shopping easier. You’ll know what ingredients you need. Without meal planning, you may buy food that you don’t cook and it ends up rotting in the fridge. For example, my mom bought some spring onions the other day because it looked so fresh and nice. She put it in a container with some water for the roots. However, we didn’t use it in any of our meals. It just didn’t go along with any of the dishes I had plan to cook. In the end the vegetable dried up and my son wondered if it was in my kitchen as an ugly decoration. It may not have cost much but still, it was wasting money.
When you plan your meals, you can also control how much you’ll be spending on food that week. You can balance out “luxury meal” days with “simple meal” days.
5. Cut down on electricity bill
Use energy saving lights and equipments. Make sure lights are turned off when not in use. Turn off the main plugs too so things like tv, radio, microwave oven are not on standby mode. You can buy an energy saving device that claims to lower your electricity bill. On really hot days I have my children bunk into my room so we only turn on one air conditioner. Running 2-3 air conditioners the whole night will definitely lead to high electricity bills.
6. Cut down on water bill
Turn off the shower when you are soaping. Turn off tap when you are brushing your teeth.
7. Stop indulging your children with toys and new clothes
I’ve learned that toys have a short life with children. It is fun for a few days. When the appeal wears off, it starts to gather dust in some corner of your house. You may think you are saving money buying cheap toys but in reality you are wasting money coz’ they don’t last.
Children also don’t need 3 closet full of clothes. Limit clothes buying to special occasions, when they’ve outgrown it or when clothes are worn out.
8. Get rid of cable TV
You don’t really need your family glued to the tv. If you really want to watch certain shows, you can go online and find cheaper and better options.
9. Turn off the car engine
I don’t know if you do a lot of waiting in the car but sometimes I do. I wait for the children to get out of school and I wait in the car as DH runs into the bank. It is so tempting to keep the engine on so I can enjoy the air conditioning and keep the radio on. However, fuel these days is expensive and turning the engine off is one way to safe money. How to counter the heat? Invest in one of those handheld fans
10. Simplify birthday celebrations
When the kids are young (babies and toddlers), they don’t really need extravagant birthday parties. First of all, they won’t really remember it. Secondly, they don’t really have any friends. Your children will still enjoy a birthday that is simple but meaningful. Instead of you putting your focus in entertaining a whole bunch of people, maybe the focus should be on the birthday child like taking him or her to the zoo or a giant indoor playground. Forget about parties at McDonalds or KFC. It is expensive and you can do better for less. Seriously, you don’t really need to spend a whole lot of money throwing a grand party to make your kids happy. You could do without the unnecessary stress too.
So tell me, what are some ways you see your family wasting money?