“Managing your family budget is really important especially for money saving.  It can help you to stay on top of any bills and expenses and could also free-up extra spending money that you could put into savings.

There are lots of things you can do as a family to help manage your finances, here are just a few ideas:

Buy second-hand for your new arrival

It’s very tempting to get carried away when you have a little one on the way.  There is so much choice out there and lots of products you think you might ‘need’ for your newborn.  If you have any family or friends with children ask them for the top 10 things they know you’ll need and the top 10 things they bought and hardly used. 

From there, you can identify the items you’re likely to use a lot and would benefit from buying new. You can then pick-up the other things on facebook marketplace, gumtree.com and family & friends. 

You’ll be amazed at what you can save – just check that anything you do buy second-hand conforms to all safety requirements

Set a household Budget

It’s really important to get a handle on what money is coming in and out, what bills need to be paid – rent/mortgage etc… and what essential spending you have – like nappies, fuel, food etc…

If you understand how much you have to set-aside for these essential things it’ll give you a good idea of what money you have left to save and spend on the things you enjoy doing as a family.  You could use a budget planner to help you manage this.

Start saving early

Using a group savings app like Offspring you can set-up goals for your family, these can be short-term like birthday presents, holiday spending money or activities that your children like to do.  Or it can be longer term saving for a new car, house deposit or just for their future.  If you set yourself up with good savings habits now, it’ll help your children to understand the importance of good money management for their own future.

Be smart with shopping

Where possible try to plan out what food you need over the longer term so you can use online shopping deliveries.  That way you avoid being tempted to buy things you don’t really need.  Local convenience stores are great for emergencies but if you use them for your regular shopping you’ll find you spend much more.

Keep an eye on your household bills

Your energy bills and insurance premiums are often a simple place to make budget savings.  When your renewals come up, always check with other providers that you are getting the best deal for your circumstances. 

Energy providers can also vary greatly in charges so make sure you check that you’re getting the best deal – switching sounds a big job but it can actually be pretty straight forward.  The moneysavingexpert.com have some really useful comparison tools to help with keeping track of your energy bills.

Money saving date nights at home

When you have young children, it can often be tricky to get a babysitter and that can add to the costs of your evening.  Try setting-up a date night at home.  Put the children to bed, set the table and have a nice dinner together.  You could try a virtual pub quiz online or go back to basics and play Jenga or Monopoly

You could also do a Movie night, picking your all-time favourite movie.  

If you fancy getting family and friends involved in your evening the social chat app houseparty is great fun, you can play a variety of games or just catch-up.

Don’t over-spend on gifts

As long as your children are warm, dry and fed they are generally happy and adapt to what they have at home.  Buying lots of expensive gifts can be tempting but sometimes a simple cardboard box can give them much more enjoyment than the latest plastic! 

If family & friends still want to buy a gift you could encourage them to use a group savings app like Offspring. By using Offspring they could contribute to an experience or longer term financial goal that would benefit your children more than the latest plastic fad.  It’s also great for the environment too.

Our blog on sports & activities could also give you some inspiration on alternative gifts.

Sell-on what you don’t need

Toys and games can start to stack-up and are often not used anymore.  One way you can save space and make money is to sell these on some of the selling sites like facebook.com, gumtree.com and ebay

People will buy all sorts of things second-hand, so it’s always worth a try! You can then put that cash into savings for the next birthday or Christmas celebration.

By making sensible choices as a family and using some of these money saving tips you can keep your spending under control.  It also teaches your children about money management and you do your part for the environment by not adding more plastic into circulation.