Embracing the blessings of a large family is an enriching and amazing journey. Nonetheless, if we’re being real here, one can’t help but admit that the top elephant in the room for most large families is the eternal question of how to make ends meet. The challenges are undeniable, so let’s read on to see my money saving tips for large families.
So, if you’ve decided that a bustling, vibrant household is your heart’s desire—or perhaps a dream you’re harboring for the future—fear not. There’s a path through the financial labyrinth, follow these strategies to navigate the fiscal challenges while nurturing your expansive family circle.
Start by Setting Financial Goals
I love setting financial goals! My husband not so much but that’s ok, at least one of us is keeping our financial situation in check!
Stick To a Budgeting
If you haven’t yet started a budget or if you are having difficulties organising your current budget plan, don’t worry, read my blog on Why Budgeting Is Essential, it will help you understand why you need a budget and how to create one too!
I’ve also created a super, simple Excel spreadsheet. It’s created for people who are new to budgeting or who want to keep budgeting super simple!
It will help you set goals for your money, track your income and expenses, pay-off debt, monitor your savings, and, of course, create a workable budget plan.
If you need help to create a budget or tweak your current budget, then be sure to reach out to me and we can talk about meeting virtually to go through a Budget Review.
One of my biggest money saving tips for large families is linked to food. While there’s no denying the allure of dining out for a change of scenery and a special treat, the financial implications of such outings can quickly spiral out of control, especially if they become a regular occurrence. And for those of us blessed with a large family, those restaurant bills can morph into something rather obscene.
The more budget-conscious route typically involves cooking at home. Cooking in your own kitchen is not only a healthier choice for your bank account but also a rewarding journey in itself.
However, even within the realm of home-cooked meals, there are great strategies to make every penny count and it’s called Meal Planning.
Before embarking on your trip to the grocery store, planning out your meals for the week proves to be an invaluable financial ally. It not only helps you stay focused on your shopping list but also prevents you from the allure of impulse buys..
Furthermore, the art of planning in advance has another enticing benefit—it encourages you to whip up larger portions, ensuring those delightful leftovers grace your table. And with a stocked fridge of leftovers, the temptation to resort to takeout dwindles, leaving both your taste buds and your wallet in a state of contentment.
Identify Essential and Non-Essential Costs – separate needs from wants
As with everyone, when they are on a tight budget, separating your needs from your wants is crucial.
Before you go shopping, ensure that you have looked in the larder and the freezer and found exactly what you need to buy. It’s no good spending money on more tins of tomatoes when you already have 6 at home!
I also go to the grocery store with cash. I explain to the cashier that this is all the money I have, and I can’t go over budget.
I’ve been doing this for many years now, and no cashier has ever refused to help me!
With this plan in mind, I always have yummy treats like chocolate biscuits that I would really like – but they are not a need! So, I place them at the back of the conveyor belt. If I have enough money left, I can get them. If not, I can’t. It’s that simple!
Be a Thrifty Car Owner
When it comes to your family’s finances, one of the largest expenditures in the budget will probably be your car.
Whether it’s the initial purchase, the upkeep, those insurance premiums, or the never-ending thirst for fuel, your car certainly has a knack for gobbling up your hard earned cash.
But let’s face it, in the realm of couples with several kids, a car is akin to a lifeline, a necessity that cannot be ignored. So, one of my money saving tips for large families is definitely not to go green when it comes to transport – I understand that is nigh on impossible.
Now, if you’re eyeing that picturesque minivan that can comfortably accommodate your brood and their mountain of gear, fret not. There are savvy moves you can make to keep your car-related expenses in check.
In my experience, the wisest course of action is to embark on a quest for the most budget-friendly car insurance. And if you’ve got school aged children, consider sharing the driving with a neighbour. It’s a great hack to save money on those petrol prices!
But don’t turn a blind eye to regular car maintenance. It might not be the most thrilling way to spend your hard-earned cash, but prioritising those routine check-ups can save you a small fortune in the future.
Regular car maintenance may not be glamorous but it’s one way to avoid unexpected and expensive repairs in the future. Be sure to make a date in the diary to ensure that you don’t miss your next service!
Pre-loved Items Are A Blessing!
I love pre-loved objects and clothes aka hand me downs! When we lived in Bermuda, clothes were super expensive and we couldn’t afford to buy brand new – not when children have a habit of growing so quickly!
So I asked friends with slightly older children what they did when their children had outgrown their clothes. Result! They gave them all to us!
I remember clearly, a dear friend, dropping off two large bin bags of clothes and shoes. In my excitement, I emptied the bags all over the living room floor. My three year old exclaimed, “What a mountainful of blessings!” She wasn’t wrong there!
Children grow out of clothes so quickly that accepting hand me downs will be a way of life.
Plus, when you haven’t bought new, expensive clothes for the little ones to wear, you really don’t mind when they go climbing trees or get them messy!
We also welcome pre-loved toys and prams, strollers and anything else that people would like to bless us with.
I fondly recall that when we revealed that we were pregnant with our first child, so many wonderful people blessed us with strollers, clothes, toys, that the only thing we had to purchase was the cot.
In the meantime, friends of ours were also pregnant with their first child and didn’t want any second hand items, they wanted to buy all new and spend over £5000 on setting up the nursery.
I don’t know about you but I would rather put that £5000 towards something like a car or a vacation… speaking of which…
Holidays On a Budget
Holidays can be expensive, even if you have a small family. Here are some top money saving tips for large families hoping to embark on a budget holiday.
Think about a holiday in your local area or an area not too far away. Cutting back on travel expenses is a real bonus.
Consider house-sitting or pet-sitting for friends when they go away.
We have saved so much money pet sitting for friends over the years – and we’ve stayed in some pretty impressive homes too!
You could also investigate companies that organise home swaps for holidays. We have friends that say that this has worked really well, saving them so much money. I think it’s a win-win for everyone, not just large families!
Look for Low-Cost Activities
Who doesn’t love a great day out for low cost? We have enjoyed some wonderful, super fun days out for next to nothing.
Check out local libraries and churches for free events in the area. We enjoyed lots of free or very cheap activities when we visited New York City: the library had a Toddler Story Time, we also enjoyed the free ferry to Staten Island and enjoyed great views of the Statue of Liberty.
We have also been able to find vouchers and coupons for theme parks for half price. For sure, it’s not free but we took our own packed lunch, plenty of drinks and had a great day out!
Going to the beach, meeting up with friends in local parks to enjoy a bring and share picnic, can all be wonderful days for low cost or completely free!
A few summers ago, we started a new hobby called Geocaching. It’s a great way to get the family outside for a walk while finding geocaches!
If you are able to research the local area, there will be many fun, low cost activities that your family can enjoy.
Indeed, it’s undeniable that managing the financial responsibilities of a bustling household, with numerous appetites to nourish and wardrobes to replenish, may appear as a formidable challenge. Yet, don’t allow these concerns to stop your dreams of embracing the joys of a large family.
Remember, where there’s a burning passion and unwavering determination, a path shall surely unveil itself. By employing a dash of innovative strategising, embracing the beauty of simplicity, making prudent cutbacks, and above all, infusing every moment with boundless love—large families have consistently demonstrated their remarkable ability to thrive. And rest assured, you too can embark on this incredible journey and make it flourish, just as they have.
Work with a finance coach
While finance coaches aren’t marriage counsellors, working with one might be one way to help keep the financial part of your relationship healthy. A finance coach can:
- Help you create a budget
- Help you establish and prioritise your financial goals and provide you with a solid plan to achieve them
- Help you stay on track with regular reviews and reminders
- Provide strategies to manage debt
- Help you adjust your budget, goals and strategies as your life changes
If you’re tired of living pay cheque to pay cheque, you can’t seem to save anything, you have no plan for your money and you’re ready to make a positive difference with your finances, then email me at Hello@moneyandmarriage.net . I can help you create a plan for your money, that includes clearing your debt, building an emergency fund and saving for something fun!
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