You can save thousands a year with these great ideas for cutting costs and boosting income
Here are 10 ways to improve family finances the easy way.
At a glance
- You can download a variety of vouchers and discounts for your everyday spending
- Family fun doesn't have to cost the earth and can even be free!
- You may be able to cut your household bills and utilities
The cost of raising a child is hefty. These tips will help.
1. Money off meals out
You can get great discounts at a vast range of family-friendly restaurants. Check out Money Saving Expert or Voucher codes and never pay full price again.
2. Switch energy providers
You can make big savings by changing gas and electricity providers – so check out a comparison site like Energyhelpline or Money Supermarket. Saving energy at home will also slash costs.
3. Get free money from the government
Don’t miss out on thousands of pounds of tax credits or benefits - paid out by the government to help families with children. So find out if you’re eligible now – a great place to start is the government’s MoneyHelper.
4. Stop binning good food
You can slash hundreds off your grocery bill by throwing out less food. A good first step is understanding the difference between ‘sell-by’ and ‘best before’ dates. Other great money-saving ideas include planning meals, using leftovers, dodging premier food brands and shopping at supermarkets that offer the best value.
5. Childcare vouchers
This little known scheme can save you thousands a year, so find out now if your employer offers childcare vouchers.
6. Family fun for free
Want to take your family on a great adventure for free? The UK has hundreds of free museums, outdoors events, cheap travel and money-off movies – check out Great family activities – cheap or free
7. Cheap family hols
A family holiday is the highlight of the year, but with prices soaring in school holidays, costs can hit the roof.
So check out term time holidays in UK and foreign destinations as they are often so much cheaper.
8. Global treasure hunt
If you’ve got a GPS navigation device, like a sat-nav or GPS-equipped mobile phone, you can join global treasure hunts, known as geocaching. Your kids will love it and it doesn’t cost a penny. These boxes are filled with tiny treasures, and scattered all over the country, from bustling city centres to beautiful beaches and dense woodland. There's a huge online geocaching community. To get started, just sign up for a free membership on the Geocaching website.
9. Stop paying for things you don’t use!
Whether it’s costly gym membership, dating sites or products you thought you’d paid off years ago, you could be wasting hundreds on things you’d forgotten about. So scrutinise all your direct debits and standing orders and only keep the things you really want or need.
10. Pay the right council tax
Many homes are in the wrong council tax bands, thanks to thousands of houses being valued at high speed before a new system was launched in 1991. Find out if you’re overpaying by contacting your local council.
Secure your family's financial future
Making savings in the short term is great, but also think about protecting your income and home in case anything happens. Money you save on the above is essentially money you don't miss because you never had it so it's worth reconsidering your life insurance using some of what you save to secure the financial future of your family.
Likewise the significant life events of your children can all add up, so saving a little of what you claw back from these tips can help you plan ahead too.