One of the first things I learned about myself when I became a stay at home Mom was how to respect money. Prior to having a child I did not respect money! I did not value the power of a dollar. I would just buy what I wanted and needed because “I worked hard for my money”. Now, I do the opposite. I make my money work for me.
The number one place I would over spend was at the grocery store. I used to just shop with no care for what the bill would be, as long as we had everything we needed in the cart. So what changed?;
- I set a budget. How much can you afford to spend? Are you going to shop weekly or bi-weekly?
- I starting clipping coupons only for items we used: pampers, formula, wipes, bread, eggs, etc. This is free money!!! You clip it, you save. Simple! A lot of restaurants and businesses print coupons with buy one get one free or buy one get one 1/2 off.
- Purchased more items on sale. Typically these are your store brand items. Surprisingly some are just as good as the brand name items.
- I buy items from consignment stores. Saved a ton of money buying clothing and toys for my daughter at these stores. (Some neighborhoods have better quality and inventory than others, so shop around).
- Use reward programs. I used the points I earned at the grocery store to get discount prices on gas!!! HUGE SAVINGS!!
- Have some self-control. Learn how to quiet the voice in your head that screams BUY, BUY, BUY.
- Allocate funds in your budget to have fun and do not over spend.
- Lastly, learn to say NO! Say No to the sales rep, say no to yourself, say no to your spouse (Babe, you know we do not need that! Or Babe, that is not in the budget!), and say no to your child (they do not need a new toy or candy bar).
- Save, save, save!!! I do not care if it is just one dollar. Save it. It may come in handy at just the right moment.
- Respecting money is a team effort. You and your spouse have to keep each on track.
What tips can you share about managing your families finances?