As a young family, you are faced with many new challenges that completely upend your everyday life as you were used to it before. This also applies to the monthly expenses. Parents with one or more children need to keep a close eye on their finances to avoid shortages.
Our tips for saving can be easily integrated into everyday family life without changing it greatly.
Household book: getting an overview
Often you do not even know why already in the middle of the month a large part of the budget is used up and on what you spent all the money. For this reason, it’s hard to figure out which items you spend the most money on and where you can save some money.
A remedy is to keep a budget book in which all household income and expenses are recorded and documented. At the latest when the first child is born, couples should start keeping such a household diary. So you can see at a glance how much money per month is spent on what and which expenses can be reduced.
The next step is to consider how to implement this. The following questions will help:
- What expenses are superfluous?
- What cheaper alternatives are there?
- What can you do without completely?
In addition, expenditures that are not absolutely necessary should always be well considered. So it helps to buy things consciously, rather than on a whim, and to ask yourself what you could buy instead, which might make more sense.
Children’s stuff: Used instead of new
Especially in the first months children grow incredibly fast, afterwards there are always smaller or larger growth spurts. This also means that the clothes and shoe sizes change within a short time and accordingly new things must be purchased constantly. That, in turn, goes pretty much into the money. Unless you save in the right place.
A lot of savings potential offers children’s clothing. Because babies and children grow out of their clothes quickly, many items of clothing are barely worn when they no longer fit. For the short time things fit, secondhand will do just fine.
This is how you get used clothes, but also toys and many other children’s things:
- Borrow things: Parents can borrow all kinds of child-related items from family members, friends, neighbors or special websites.
- Buy second-hand goods: In second-hand stores, among friends and acquaintances, at the flea market, via flea market platforms on the Internet or groups in the social networks, you can get many used things in good condition.
- Use barter sites: There are some Internet sites and groups, but also regional activities and actions to exchange used things for others.
Of course, you can also use all these possibilities to sell used clothes, toys and furniture and thus increase the household budget a little bit again.
On the other hand, parents should buy shoes for the offspring only in exceptional cases used and otherwise new. A shoe has to fit properly, otherwise it causes damage to the foot instead of supporting it while walking and running. Everyone puts a different strain on the foot. So if a child has already worn its shoes for a long time and the heel area is worn out, it is not good to pass the shoes on to another child. Only if the shoes are still in good condition and fit properly, even used shoes are useful.
Loans: rescheduling saves money
Whether it’s for a new car, a bigger vacation or a house of one’s own – nowadays people take out loans for a wide variety of things. Since it can happen quickly that there are suddenly two loans to pay off when a couple moves in together or marries. Quickly, a hefty loan amount accumulates at various banks, and the monthly installments increasingly strain the accounts. Before this causes payment difficulties, you should think about debt restructuring.
This can mean that several individual loans with different banks become a single loan with a lower installment payment. Here’s how to lose less money per month and keep better track of it to boot. A debt restructuring is also worthwhile if the existing loan expires or can no longer be continued at the previous conditions. About the follow-up financing, you can make a debt restructuring – either at the current or another banking institution.
How long it takes for the debt to be rescheduled depends on various factors. For one thing, it depends on the loan provider how long it takes to process the loan and when the loan amount is paid out. On the other hand also of it, how it is ordered around the economic situation of the applicants. It also takes more time for high loan amounts, as loan providers must check all the more thoroughly whether the applicant’s requirements are met. Basically, however, the sooner you have gathered the necessary credit documents, the faster it goes.
Other plus points of debt restructuring: As a couple, you can determine for yourself from which account the monthly loan installments should be debited and to which the loan amount should be paid out. This also brings financial benefits. In general, one should not rush into a debt restructuring – even if time may be pressing. The higher the sum, the more thorough the research should be until the right loan provider is found.
Household: saving on cooking and washing
Many household chores that are scheduled several times a week or even daily also offer great savings potential. These include cooking and washing.
When cooking, 20 percent energy can be saved by closing the pots with the appropriate lid instead of leaving them open. Another 20 percent can be saved if the stovetop corresponds to the size of the pot. This is the amount of energy that escapes unused when the stovetop is only one centimeter larger than the pot’s circumference.
So that it does not take so long to boil the water for pasta, you can heat the water in the kettle and then pour it into the pot. With this method, not only is the food ready faster, it also saves up to 40 percent of the electricity that would otherwise be used for this purpose.
Due to large packages and children who are suddenly not hungry at all, food leftovers often accumulate in the refrigerator. Instead of throwing them away unnecessarily, get creative and reuse the leftovers. If need be, a thrown-together lunch made from leftovers will do the trick. If cream, salad dressing, lemon juice or similar are left over, you can freeze them and use them up when needed.
When washing, you can also save a lot of water and energy if the washing machine is used to full capacity and the washing temperature does not exceed 60 degrees. A family of four can save up to 200 euros a year. What also saves energy and costs: spin the laundry in the washing machine and put only what is necessary in the dryer, because dryers consume a lot of electricity.
In the case of light soiling, things in the washing machine get clean even with less detergent than specified. The same applies to the dishwasher. Less detergent and halved tabs save up to 40 euros a year.
Vacation: Cheaper through the vacations
Going on vacation with the kids can quickly become an expensive affair – but not with the right money-saving tips. If you know how to do it, you can also save a lot on summer vacations.
It is always worthwhile to secure discounts when booking the vacation. There are for early bookers and last minute travelers. In addition, one should always compare the offers of different tour operators. Here there are often considerable price differences of up to 500 euros for the same trip.
As long as the kids aren’t in school yet, it’s best not to go on vacation during the vacation season, if possible. This saves up to 20 percent of the costs. On the other hand, if you are dependent on school vacations, you should consider whether an airport change is worthwhile. Because where there are vacations, flights are 20 percent more expensive. Under certain circumstances it can be useful to fly from another state where there are no vacations at the moment.