How to Save Money With a Family: A Frugal Living Guide for Large Families

With all the different temptations to spend, saving money can be tough. Large families, in particular, can have a hard time trying to save while raising children.

Well, saving doesn’t mean you have to live on scraps and deny yourself from having fun. In contrast, analyzing your spending and planning a budget allows you to spend more on things that make you happy, and less on needless expenses. Let me tell you, budgeting can be pretty fun!

In this article, I’ll tell you all about how to save money with a family and how to set a budget while involving your children. So, keep reading to start saving!

How to Save Money With a Family

At first, cutting back on spending seems easy, but not for parents raising a family. It isn’t as simple as setting aside a few leftover bucks at the end of the month. In contrast, you have to pay attention to how you spend every penny.

Fortunately, if you take the time to plan a monthly budget ahead, saving money will become a breeze.  Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you budget, even with a large family:

1. Break Down Expenses

The first thing to do when budgeting is to take a close look at your spending habits. This will help you identify how much money you spend on all your needs.

Afterward, you can classify your expenses into three categories: fixed, variable, and periodic.

Fixed and periodic expenses are those you absolutely have to pay. For example, your monthly mortgage is a fixed expense, while paying off your children’s school is periodic. Either way, there’s no way around these charges.

On the other hand, variable expenses include everything you have control over, from food to clothing and entertainment. This is where you can reduce costs, thus saving money.

Naturally, this can be tricky if you have a family. You can cut back on your essential and non-essential needs. However, significantly changing your lifestyle will affect your children.

For this reason, smart budgeting will ensure you save money without running an incredibly frugal household.

Close-up of a senior couple with money and calculator

2. Stick to the Essentials

Once you’ve broken down your spending habits, you can decide which costs can stay and which pointless expenses can go.

You’d be surprised to find out the amount of money you spend on needless items and old subscriptions. Additionally, you might believe a small purchase now and then won’t break the bank, but these small fees can quickly add up.

Accordingly, after you’ve broken down your expenses into the variables, categorize these costs further into essentials and non-essentials.

Now, you should have a rough estimate of your household expenses. Ideally, the leftover amount should go into your savings.

3. Build a Budget

Building a budget and sticking to it is one of the best ways to save money. It helps you keep track of your spending and prevents you from going overboard.

A budget will significantly reduce your anxiety because you’ll set aside money for different expenses. So, you won’t need to worry about not having enough money to get you through until the end of the month!

If you’re looking to save money, you might need to utilize a budgeting framework. A great example is the 50-30-20 rule.

This budgeting rule recommends you put aside 50% of your income for your essential needs, 30% for fun and entertainment, and 20% for savings.

4. Reduce Waste and Energy Consumption

Planning a budget isn’t enough to save money with a family. More often than not, you might break your budget or barely stick to it.

That’s why you must also find different ways to save money while sticking to your budget.

For starters, though many people save money by cutting back on takeouts and leisure activities, reducing your energy consumption will remarkably lower your bills.

This can be done by simply switching to LED lights or using your appliances efficiently. Or, you can advise your kids not to leave lights turned on when they’re not in the room and not to use air conditioning carelessly.

Aside from energy, groceries are the priciest budget expense. Luckily, you can reduce food waste by doing the following:

  • Meal planning.
  • Using leftovers instead of throwing them away.
  • Frequently checking your fridge and pantry to avoid food spoiling.
  • Checking your kitchen inventory before grocery shopping.
  • Buying only food you’ll use and staying away from junk food and snacks.
  • Properly storing your food.

5. Shop Wisely

A mother doing shopping in the grocery store with her young daughter

If you shop wisely, you might end your month under budget, which means you can save even more.

Figuring out a budget-friendly shopping method can be a lifesaver, especially for families.

First, buying in bulk might seem expensive at first, but the super-sized supplies are incredibly efficient, particularly when it comes to products your family consumes frequently. Secondly, making a list of the essentials will keep you from straying and buying pointless stuff. 

Moreover, thrifting is all the rage right now. Not only does buying secondhand clothes, furniture, and appliances mean you’ll be saving a lot of cash, but you’ll also end up with one-of-a-kind items.

Lastly, though shopping trips can be plenty of fun, they’re not easy on the pockets. The last thing you need while shopping is your kids screaming for snacks and toys. As harsh as this may sound, it’s best to shop solo. 

6. Set Aside an Emergency Fund

Emergencies happen. You might save a substantial amount of money, only to spend it all on a broken-down car or another home crisis. For this reason, it’s best to be prepared.

You can look back at any unexpected circumstances that you went through and evaluate how much you spent. Then, leave a part of your savings aside for emergencies.

Alternatively, you might make small, consistent contributions to your emergency fund, separate from your savings account.

An emergency fund will lessen the burden of any financial shock. Furthermore, you won’t need to reach for your hard-earned savings. So, your plans won’t get derailed in the case of any unexpected dilemma.

7. Plan For Special Occasions

Your budget should never be set in stone. Instead, you must prepare ahead for celebrations, holidays, and special occasions.

For example, the winter holidays are cheerful, yet they include plenty of expenses. Many people blow their savings on these occasions, forcing them to start afresh.

Well, you usually know about the celebrations months earlier. That’s why it’s important to budget for them beforehand.

This will entail saving up for the event during the months leading up to it, keeping its budget separate from your savings.

All these separate funds and budgets might seem daunting at first. However, splitting up your expenses and keeping track of your spending will greatly help you keep track of your finances.

8. Involve the Entire Family

a happy couple sitting on the couch and learning how to save money with a family

Setting a family budget is different from saving up money on your own. A family budget includes the finances of the whole household. Naturally, your family should be in the loop.

When your children know the importance of money and saving, they’ll likely understand your financial decisions, appreciate your hard work, and even contribute in any way they can.

Financial education for children isn’t just crucial for saving money, but it’ll also help them grow into responsible adults who know how to manage their finances.

There are numerous ways you can involve your kids in setting a budget. For instance, you might include them when setting up the monthly budget, teach them how to budget their allowance, or help them analyze their spending habits.

Additionally, you should consider getting your younger children a piggy bank and setting up a bank account for your teenagers. This way, you’ll teach them the value of money.

9. Try Money Saving Challenges

Saving up can be pretty boring. The only exciting part about it might be imagining everything you’ll get to buy once you save enough money. Still, there are plenty of ways to make budgeting fun.

Challenges can transform the most mundane tasks into memorable experiences. What’s more, these challenges will really kick your savings into high gear. You could even pick up some lifelong saving habits by trying new saving challenges.

One of the most popular saving challenges is the no-spend month. This entails not buying anything other than your crucial needs for 30 days. You’d be surprised by the amount of expenses you could live perfectly fine without.

Frugal Living with a Family will Save you Money

If you’re wondering how to save money with a family, frugal living is your answer. Though many believe budgeting rules and financial plans are enough, you must also analyze your spending habits in order to save a substantial amount of money.

Since money can be tight when raising children, several spending habits will turn your life around. Setting up an emergency fund, planning ahead of events and holidays, and signing up for challenges are a few examples that’ll help you save.

It’s best to include the entire family when budgeting. That’s because each family member will weigh in on essential and non-essential expenses. Your children will also become more responsible and cooperative.

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