Brought to you by Tesco
Look, trying to save money is a little like watching water drain through a sieve.
Oh look! There it goes… more money being spent on stuff that needs spending on.
And as your own mammy will to this day attest, the whole offloading loads of cash thing really comes into play once you have kids.
Because children always need something, are going to something, or have lost something.
Still, if you were born without the budgeting gene and you have a small one to care for (or know someone who does) then we are here to help.
So without further ado… here are our top six tips to keep your cash in check…
1. The envelope system
OK, so we all know that physically watching your hard-earned cash is a huge amount easier than looking at numbers on a screen or handing over your bank card. The envelope trick is based on this very hands-on, visual system. Every month simply divvy up your funds into different envelopes marked ‘petrol’, ‘groceries’, ‘bills’ etc. This system means that you physically know how much you have to spend each month and once you run out of money – that’s it. Life changing!
2. Cut back on expensive weekend activities
If you want to entertain the gang at the weekend without spending a fortune, don’t forget about the free options out there like the four branches of the National Museum Of Ireland. If you’re in the capital, the Dublin Bus Hop On Hop Off tour offers two free places for under 14s with every paying adult. Then there are libraries to explore too – many of which hold free events. If you’re not near a city, the likes of picnics in the garden, crafts, and baking together will delight small ones. It might all sound painfully 1950s – but it’s actually oodles of fun and the small ones will be as content as if you splashed the cash on something pricey.
3. Split party expenses
Many parents are now holding joint birthday parties with their child’s friends or classmates. Hurrah! This means you can go Dutch on the food, bouncy castle, or play centre. It’s a cost-effective option to entertain a large number of children and cuts down on the number of parties other parents have to attend. Basically, it’s win-win.
4. Consider a spending diary
Keep a closer eye on exactly what you’re spending your money on by keeping a note of everything you buy in a spending diary. As annoying as this might sound, it’s an excellent (and often surprising) way of seeing where your money goes every day, week, and month. Make the effort to keep note for a fortnight and you’ll quickly see where you can make different choices and savings.
5. Keep your eyes peeled for offers
Nobody spots a supermarket bargain or deal more keenly than ‘yer mam’. It’s kinda like a sixth sense they have. And if you’re looking for mega-offers THIS weekend, may we present for your consideration Tesco. There, you can pick up three boxes of Pampers Baby Dry for just €30. Otherwise, the supermarket has the likes of Fairy non-bio pods (60 capsules) and Fairy non-bio 60-wash powder, also both three for €30. Finally, there is a third off WaterWipes. That’ll be us sorted, so.
6. Lose your obsession with ‘new’
Kids go through the likes of clothing, shoes, and play-stuff VERY fast. So it’s savvy to consider ways to expand their closets and their toy-boxes without maxing out your credit card. Don’t be afraid to ask friends or relatives for their cast-offs – people will be delighted to see good stuff go to a good home. Raid charity shops for steals – not least as they often harbour hardly worn, or even brand-new merchandise.
Brought to you by Tesco