Tips and tricks for saving as a family

This blog post is written as a request from one of my followers on social media so I am very excited to be able to write about this topic. If you have a request for a blog post, please get in touch. I really want to create content that is of value to you.

One of the reasons I love this request is because it is so relevant and something that I think most families are wondering. I think that there is such a need to work together as a family towards your financial goals, and that includes getting your children on board.

So let’s get started on some practical tips on how to save as a family:

Number 1: Budgeting

I am a big advocate for setting up a budget. I feel like it is the first step in your financial journey as you are creating a plan of action and not just hoping for the best. By setting up a budget, or a spending plan, you are ensuring that your hard-earned money is accounted for and that your money is working for you.

Number 2: Track your expenses

It doesn’t help that you have a budget but you don’t track your expenses meaning that every month you go over budget. There are many ways that you can track your expenses such as:

  • Expense tracker apps
  • Excel spreadsheet (there is a template available under the “resources” tab on our website)  
  • Cash-only or envelope method. This method of budgeting means that you withdraw cash at the beginning of the month and place it in envelopes that correlate with your budget categories, for example: food, clothes, entertainment etc. Once the cash in a specific envelope is finished, you know that you have used all the money budgeted for that category for the month. By using this method, you can know at any point how much money you have left for a specific expense.
  • Get a whiteboard and some markers and physically write down how much you spend every time you buy something

Number 3: Cut down on certain expenses

One of my favourite tips for clients when it comes to cutting down expenses is to cut down a small amount from a lot of expenses rather than a big amount from one expense. If you think about it practically, you most likely won’t feel the difference of cutting down R100 from your food, clothing, entertainment and take-aways budgets each month saving you R400, but you will feel it if you cut R400 from just one category.

Another tip is to start small. Cut just R50 in month 1 and build up from there. Before you know it, you will be saving a significant amount of money without really feeling the effects thereof.

Number 4: Make sure everyone is on the same page

I highly recommend that you and your spouse are on the same page about what you want to achieve in terms of your finances. You need to be working towards the same goals otherwise it is just going to be a constant struggle and it may end up that neither of you achieve anything. Once you’re both on the same page, sit down as a family and discuss your financial goals. Once this is done it will be easier for everyone to understand why certain sacrifices are necessary.

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Tamlyn N

Financial Consultant & Business Advisor

LE Consult Group