It isn’t always easy to be a mom on a tight budget. You sometimes feel as though your kids might be missing, even though more logically you know that you’re probably helping them out in the future to allow them to see that a happy life is perfectly possible on a smaller budget. Money management is one of the most important things for your kids to witness you mastering – which means that you have to cut back in a few areas of your life. Luckily, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to have any fun. Read on for my top tips about how to live your best life on a budget…
The most important thing about your home is that you find it a comfortable place to spend your time. You can always buy couches second hand or from thrift stores rather than splashing out on a new one, before getting them professionally cleaned and maybe even reupholstered. Go for LED lights – not only will they lower your energy bill but you’ll also have to replace them much less frequently. Make sure that you encourage your kids to shower for a shorter amount of time – not only will this cut down on your energy bills but you can also explain that they’re helping to save the planet.
On Days Out
You can absolutely take your family on fun days out without completely breaking the bank. The most important thing to do is check out all the prices beforehand so you can plan your finances for the day. Figure out if parking’s cheap or if it would be a better idea financially to take public transport to wherever you’re planning on going. A lot of public events are free – look up local festivals that you can attend with your kids, and check out local museum exhibitions, which are also often free. Kids’ shows often tour around, so keep your eye on your local arts website. Remember that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on a great day out – you can go window shopping and for ice cream or hot chocolate without spending a fortune.
Luckily it’s very possible to look good on a budget. Look online for drugstore dupes of famous makeup products if you love beauty – you don’t have to spend a fortune to look flawless! Look in thrift stores for new clothes and check out eBay for bargains. If you don’t like the idea of wearing second hand clothes then you can always select the ‘new with tags’ option to buy items that have never been worn before. Make sure you go for classic pieces that will last you a long time over disposable fashion – buy your kids one coat that will last them all winter instead of a couple of jackets that won’t keep them warm and that might fall apart quickly. If you fancy yourself as artistic and into beauty, you could even learn to cut your kids’ hair yourself to save a little extra money!
The most important message to pass onto your kids about food is a healthy attitude towards it. If you make sure that they understand that you can eat everything in moderation, you’ll be setting up a lifetime of great eating habits. Make sure that you don’t do any yoyo diets and that they see you eating and enjoying balanced meals. If you cook from scratch then you’ll be cutting unhealthy additives and extra added sugar from your diet that’s often found in jarred sauces and readymade food – invite your kids into the kitchen so they learn about the processes behind food preparation. Look out for deals in the grocery store and gift card deals like https://www.cards2cash.com/product-category/by-store/walmart-gift-card/ online and in stores.
Being fit and healthy is one of the best examples that you can ever pass onto your children, but you also need to demonstrate that you don’t need to spend thousands on a personal trainer and gym membership to keep healthy and happy. There are plenty of ways of keeping fit where you don’t have to spend any money at all – hiking means that you get to take in some gorgeous scenery as well as keeping your blood circulating, and you could also try Couch To 5K if you want to find a quick and easy way into jogging. There are plenty of YouTube videos out there with home workouts you could try – just put out a mat on the floor and put your laptop on a table so you can see it. Easy!
First of all, make sure that you only buy your kids gifts that they actually want. You might not think it’s possible to throw your kids good birthday parties when you’re on a budget, but on the contrary – they can actually be incredible. First of all, consider what exactly you want to spend your money on. If you have a small home then maybe you want to hire a hall so you can fit in all the guests. If you’re shy, then maybe you want to hire an entertainer so you can sit back and let them lead the festivities. Maybe you want to cut down on the amount of guests so you can spend a little more on each person attending. If you want to go out to an activity like bowling or soft play, the centre may offer to provide food and decorations. Make sure you add up the cost of this alongside what it would cost you to provide them yourself – remember they might be trying to get you to part with more money than you really want to! If you’re having the party at home, look up party games online that you can lead, like musical statues and pass the parcel. These don’t cost too much and kids will have an absolute blast. Regarding the cake, you might think that it’s a great idea to cut costs by baking it yourself. Unless you’re a great and confident baker, this might not be true. Ingredients are expensive and what if you have to start all over again? You might be safest getting a relatively inexpensive cake from the grocery store.