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Prepare a family budget for a month, saving a penny a day challenge and ways to save money on a tight budget.
With the New Year fast approaching, it’s more important than ever to set yourself some strict rules to help manage your finances in the year ahead.
The Money Advice Service recently predicted that nine out of ten of us will have a credit card hangover come January, with some shoppers racking up over £11 billion in debt, that’s around £636 a household!
To make things worse, many of us believe that we will still be paying it off by the time next Christmas comes.
As a mum, working or not, it is possible to clear your overdraft, loans and any credit cards you may have, by sticking to a budget and having some commitment to the cause.
Ways for Mums to Make and Save Money on a Tight Budget
You really can save AND make money on just about everything, from your grocery shop to buying gifts, or even on your Christmas dinner.
No secrets or tricks, just easy tips on how you can get your shopping bill down to under £45 a week for 4, and keep more money in your pocket.
Living frugally doesn’t mean boring though. The cash you save could help pay for family treats, fun days out or even a massive holiday.
It’s not just your food shop you can save money on. Being consistent about budgeting, stockpiling as you go, upcycling and car boot sales can save you hundreds.
Just by being a little cautious and watch what you’re spending everyday will quickly tot up. Shopping around for deals on your energy, broadband, home insurance and phone tariffs can save you £1000s.
Whether you’re pregnant or already have kids, there are loads of ways you can save day to day, meaning a bit of financial breathing space for you and your family.
Frugal money saving tips for the whole family including how to watch free TV show recordings, cheap kids’ clothes and ways to save on your food bill.
Family budget for a month introduction
If you have no clue where or how to start, then join my FREE “Save £300 in a Month” Challenge that is exclusively for mums who want to save money day to day and be free financially.
The challenge will run on the 1st of every month in a private Facebook group and once you’ve completed it, you can either stay in the group or move to my main group, Money Saving Mums, which is a friendly community of mums who love saving money.
Both groups are private, meaning that unless your family or friends are in the group, they can’t see your posts.
Nothing is sold to you and there’s no hacks. All these tips are genuine ways I’ve saved money and have been tried and tested by me.
You can join my monthly saving challenge by simply entering your email address below.
Come join over 150 mums in our Free 30 Day Money Saving Challenge Facebook group
Once submitted, you’ll receive an email with the next steps, including a link to the Facebook group.
Saving a penny a day challenge
This 365-day money saving challenge works by you saving a penny a day.
So on day one, you save £3.65. On day two you save £3.64 in till you get to day 365 and you save 1p, with a massive £667.95 in the bank. That’s £667.95 for doing nothing but putting a few coins in a jar every day.
There are apps that will do it for you, but it’s just as fun adding the money to a spare jar you have and ticking off you’ve done it!
Download your FREE 1p Penny a Day Challenge Sheet here
Check child tax credits
We all know that having kids is expensive, and using tax credits can really help, with some families getting £1000s a year.
Tax credits ate a state scheme that pays out to families to help support their needs, or helps to top up your wage if you’re a low earner.
How much you’ll get depends on your circumstances.
If you have tweens, them this is the ultimate Saturday night out. Audience tickets costs nothing, and your kids get to see their fave shows being recorded. Win!
Loads of audience tickets for big TV shows are available, from The X Factor Live Finals to kid sitcoms and adult comedies. See Free TV Tickets for how to apply.
If you aren’t eligible or can’t find a setting that offers the 30 free hours, then childcare vouchers may work out and could save you £1,000s a year in tax.
This enables you to pay for childcare out of your pre-tax and National Insurance income. While this doesn’t sound much, the impact can be huge.
Get a EHICs for free
Wherever you’re going in Europe make sure your family has up-to-date European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) whoch gets you FREE family medical care on Euro holidays.
It doesn’t cost a thing and is valid throughout Europe.
This treats you like a local and is very handy if the worst happens. Really, it if it’s free for locals, then it’s free for you. Make sure you keep it on you at all times when you’re away. You won’t be covered if not.
The kids will need one too. To apply on behalf of a child, include them as a ‘dependant’ in the application and you’ll each get a separate EHIC.
This isn’t and shouldn’t be used as a substitute for medical insurance.
It’s really easy and not the faff that you’re led to believe. Shopping around could save you hundreds! Do it with everything you use, from energy, to board band to insurance to even TV packages.
There’s loads of sites out there that will help you to compare, but the trick is to play them off against each other and haggle. Yes, even the big companies expect you to put up a fight. The first price is never there final price.
Remember to check out cash back sites like Topcashback and Quidco as well to see what you can get back.
Top Tip: Only threaten to leave if you really mean it. Play the companies off against each other by all means, but it may come to you just having to make up your mind there and then.
Becoming a frugal family with budgeting
With household bills, day-to-day living costs and wanted treats, looking after your family can really stretch your money. Work out how much you have coming in and out monthly.
First, use the free Budget Planner to work out where your cash is going or download all my FREE opt-ins that help you save money as a family.
Don’t worry about always doing things the cheapest way, as they may not be cheaper for you as a family. Ask yourself how much you can afford and get the whole family involved.
Ask them how they would like to save, or if they could cut down on their fave chocolate bars if it meant a holiday this year. Keep it visual as well, so every time you save something, get a family member to colour a block or tick a sheet off. It’s a fun way to see how much you are all saving.
Free Days Out
If the weather is bad and you can’t face the thought of being stuck in, then have a look at this Free Museums and Galleries guide which is packed full of free places in the UK that don’t charge a penny for you to enter.
Before you buy
Know what stores are offering discount by checking websites like PromotionalCodes.org.uk, HotUKDeals and social media pages, to find all the current available deals, flash offers and even free delivery codes.
Meal planning doesn’t have to be boring. Swapping and changing meals depending on what you have in your cupboards is the aim of the game.
To really save money, find out how to meal plan like a pro and print off our Free meal plan and shopping list to take with you.
By planning ahead you can cut out the impulse trips to the shops, which always turn into a trolley full. Once you’ve done your meal plan, write a list of ingredients you need for the week and go online before you head to the supermarket, so you can check which store has the best prices.
Money Saving Meals
It is completely possible to cook your family good meals for under £1 a head. Check out the Budget Food section here, full of everything from cheap kid lunches to yummy dinner ideas on a tight budget.
Building a stockpile on a tight budget
A big part of saving money is to have a food stockpile. You can stockpile anything you like as long as it doesn’t go off. By just checking clearance stands or shopping around could save you as much as 70% off your normal spend.
Remember to add it in to your meal plan though. So on weeks you are sort of money, your food bill will be lower.
Money Saving Coupons
Half the cost of your food shop by couponing. It’s just as big here as in America, just less advertised. Look out for coupons in websites, magazines and food packaging.
These come in all shapes and sizes. Yep, you get your normal high street variety but they are also available too.
Think Boohoo, Dyson, Argos, Mamas & Papas and AO.
If you need something, check this Outlet List which is full of the cheapest online brands. It means you can still have your branded items but for a lot less!
Actively write to retailers
Another great way to get coupons is to write to manufacturers telling them how much you love their products. Many will write back and give you a money off voucher as a thank you.
Heading for the discount aisle at the supermarket is a great way to find bargains. You can find some great yellow-sticker items that you can freeze and re-use whenever.
Buy for Christmas all your round
The best time to buy presents is just after Christmas as a lot of stores will hold 75% off sales and you can pick some great gift sets as well as perfume and toys at bargain prices. You can save a lot of money on presents for next year.
- How I can Afford to be a Stay at Home Mum
- 99 Easy Ways to Save Money as a Family
- One Month of Cheap Aldi Slow Cooked Dinners Plus a Free Month Meal Plan
If your kids regularly attend parties, stockpile toys you pick up in the sales. This will make your life a lot easier next time a party is sprung on you last minute.
Car Boot Sales
You can grab hundreds of bargains every year by buying and selling at car boot sales. If you’re going to buy, always arrive just after it opens or just before it closes in order to bag the best bargains. Be prepared to haggle and keep your eye out for recognisable brands and labels.
If you’re selling, avoid labeling your items (as this can put people off), bring lots of change and carrier bags and be prepared for hagglers.
Charity shops can be a great way to find top branded items for pennies. Always keep an eye out for labels and recognisable brands.
Fancy a cheap holiday for a tenner? Newspaper ticket promotions are a great way to get a cheap family getaway or day out. Save them before a school holiday for something to do over the break
There are so many ways you can DIY your house to save money. At Christmas and Halloween , you can decorate your house with homemade items. This is a great way to get crafty with the kids and also save a few pennies in the meantime.
Grow your own
One of the best ways to grow your own fruit and veg is to have an allotment. If you want to try on a smaller scale, try growing potatoes in a big black bin filled with compost and tomatoes in hanging baskets.
Having someone to hit the shops with is great. By taking a bargain buddy you can compare and share coupons and voucher codes with each other and even have someone to do a spot of foraging, charity shopping or car boots with.
A spot of foraging can save you a fortune on fresh fruit. Blackberries are brilliant growers and freeze well. They are tasty, versatile and completely free when foraged.
By painting and adding a bit of wallpaper to an old chest of drawers or a desk that’s heading for the skip, you can make practical and stylish furnishings for a lot less money.
Quick Ways to Make Money at Home as a Mum
There’s loads of ways to make money as a mum, from sat at home watching TV or even walking the kids to school, there’s no shortage of ways you could be lining your pockets.
Current Account Switching
Many banks will pay you to switch to their bank accounts. The funny thing is you don’t have to do anything, just agree and they will do all the hard work and with many paying you £100s to do it. Read more about bank account switching and how you could earn £250.
While doing your weekly food shop, check your cashback apps. These allow you to check if there’s cashback on any items that you’ve bought – allowing you to MAKE money from your purchases.
TopCashback and Quidco are good places to start. Right now, you can get 100% cashback up to £15 at Argos or free gym pass for a month at PayAsUsGym.
This is when you place a bet on both sides you can’t loose. I have a handy guide here for beginners who want to make money from home, but really it’s all about having a small pot and paying your bet.
I don’t match bet anymore, but when I did I earned £100. It was ok, but does take time to get into and isn’t a quick get rich scheme. You really have to watch what you’re doing and double check the odds before betting.
Jobs for stay at home mums uk
There’s to many jobs to list here but there’s loads you can do to earn extra cash. None of these cost you anything and are completely free to do but all will earn you money.
Here a few to give you an idea:
Watch videos and play games
Swagbucks is a fun and easy to use site that pays you to complete shorts online tasks in exchange for virtual money. This can then be swapped for real money or vouchers.
Online survey sites or apps can make you £100s of pounds a year. Just give your view and watch the cash come in. Some only pay pennies but one or two I’ve done do pay £1 a survey. At just 3-5 minutes long sat on your bum, that’s a no-brainer.
Money for Googling
Making money online couldn’t be simpler here. Using Qmee, you can earn by just searching the web.
Qmee is an internet add-on, so you can search like you would normally, but next to the searches will be extra results. These are adverts from businesses that have paid Qmee to advertise.
Fun = cash
Gift Hunter Club gives you points for watching videos or to enter competitions. These can then be swapped for cash through Paypal or for Amazon vouchers.
There are loads out there, with dedicated Facebook groups set up for them. Yep, it is luck, but if you enter enough of them, then you’ll win at some point.
Now set yourself a challenge. How much do you want to save or make your family by Christmas? Let me know in the comments below.