Saving for yourself or even as a couple is a whole different game to saving for a family. From the moment you plan or conceive you first child, budgeting instantly increases in complexity and money starts needing to stretch further. Between all the costs and expenses incurred by a family household, it can be difficult to find a single cent to lock away into a savings account… but it’s hardly impossible. The tips below should give you some ideas to help with this.
Goals and Rewards
“Wanting more savings” is an excellent goal, but it’s also unhelpfully vague. To truly motivate yourself and your family to save, you’re going to need a series of goals to work towards. Try to set yourself a schedule with regular milestones to strive for, like having a certain amount in the savings account after six months or being able to completely repay a particular debt by the end of the year.
While these kinds of goals will work well for you and your spouse, they’re hardly likely to thrill the younger members of your family. Try telling your kids that skipping ice cream day each week will enable you to pay back your car loan faster and see what kind of reaction you get. Once the tantrum has abated, regroup and consider alternative ways to encourage the children to get on board the savings bandwagon. Tangible rewards, like toys or a trip to an amusement park, are much more likely to motivate them than a number, no matter how many zeros that number has. Just make sure these rewards aren’t extravagant or frequent enough to jeopardize your savings goals!
Consider Refinancing Your Home Loan
If you haven’t conducted a health check on your home loan this year, now could be the perfect time to do so. Do a little bit of investigation to find out if your current rate is still the best available. Depending on your circumstances, a refinance home loan from a bank like BOQ could present some great benefits that make saving for your family a little easier. For example, refinancing your home loan might enable you to swap from a fixed rate to variable or vice versa, or you may be able to strip away any additional services that you’ve discovered aren’t really worth paying extra for.
Be Conscious Around the House
Practicing those basic tricks we all know but often neglect could shave some crucial dollars off your regular expenses. Turning lights and appliances off whenever they’re not being used can make a difference to your power bills, while taking care to conserve water when washing hands, showering, or watering the garden can help too. Also consider placing restrictions on how long the kids can use the internet each day – this is probably a good recommendation in general. When taking measures like these, it’s important to be honest and educate your children as to why you’re doing so. They still won’t be happy about it, but hopefully understanding your reasons will encourage them to respect the rules.
Has your family stumbled upon any other tips that have helped your savings grow faster? Share them in the comments below to help out others who are struggling with this.