If there’s one thing I’m always asked when people discover that my family is, err, quite large (to say the least), it’s how on earth do I stretch the family finances? Each new acquaintance almost trips over their own thoughts in getting the questions out of their mouths fast enough. How do I to ensure that there’s always enough money for the really important things, like bills, and how can I possibly budget for some of the not so important things, like ice cream and perhaps the odd bottle of something corked. Obviously, providing for such a large family has led me to looking into these matters over the years, and I’d like to share some of the best ways I’ve found of stretching the family budget.
ISA – make saving easy
Life is about the little things. The little things make up the big things. Without the little things, there are no big things. If one of your children likes apples but another likes bananas and you yourself prefer cherries, the food bill can begin to expand before you’re even past the fresh produce aisle just beyond the entrance to the supermarket. Having that extra cash (for apples and bananas and cherries) is made all the more easy with a savings account on hand to mop up life’s hidden charges, like a broken down washing machine or new tyres on your car. An ISA from Wealthify, for example, offers tax free savings, giving you flexible saving options each payday. This side pot, correctly managed, can help to alleviate any money woes that always seem to crop up at the most inconvenient times.
Free up extra cash – consolidate your loans
Loan consolidation is nothing new, and I’m sure you’re well versed in how it all works. Nevertheless, a gentle reminder never goes amiss. A consolidation loan is nothing to be ashamed of. Often people think of a consolidation loan as some sort of safety net when things get out of hand. But that’s just silly. Life costs a fortune, so unless you’re born into money, you’re going to need to make monthly payments towards the big things. Cars, fridge freezers, the corner couch and the matching wallpaper and light fixtures, your mobile phone, a laptop or tablet, perhaps even a holiday. All of these things represent a potentially significant raid on your bank balance if bought outright, so most of us choose the easy option of making monthly payments. When you actually stop and look at how many payments you make each month towards nothing more than keeping up with the Joneses, you may be shocked. Reduce your monthly payments and free up 10s if not 100s of pounds each payday with a consolidation loan.
Switch energy provider
Yes, I know. Energy providers, home insurance, car insurance renewals … not exactly the most exciting part of being an adult. All I will say is that switching energy provider is more simple than you might think. Try the comparison websites and see how much you could save. Switching energy provider may be a bore, but it’s a popular method of saving money for a reason. It doesn’t hurt to check it out.