13 Expert budget & finance tips for large families

budget tips for families
Expert budget & finance tips for large families

If you have a large family, chances are you’re pressed to make your money go further as an endless array of expenses come your way.

1) Take advantage of multiple incomes

Large families may have more expenses but they may also have dual incomes or even more. Our first expert budget and finance tip is to take advantage of these multiple incomes.

This will involve ensuring you and your partner or other income earning family members all pitch in for expenses as well as savings and investments. Pulling all your money together and sharing expenses and responsibilities makes it much easier to budget and manage your money.

2) Keep short-term debt & credit card debt to an absolute minimum

With so many expenses and responsibilities to consider with a large family, taking on short-term, high interest debt is one of the worst things, especially for large families.

The money that you’re paying in interest and fees for this loan could easily have gone to other expenses or savings. In addition, taking on short-term credit and using credit cards to cope with expenses can easily become a habit that will be very difficult to break.

3) Avoid peak seasons & peak hours

This tip is related to both holidays as well as outings. We all know that weekends and peak seasons cost the most not only in terms of admission tickets to various activities but also for transport and accommodation. If you have a big family, plan well and avoid these peak times and seasons to save big.

4) Always buy in bulk

Buying in bulk is an absolute must for any large family. Not only will your money stretch much further but buying in bulk mean less packaging which is much less harsh on the environment. You can also take advantage of specials and bulk offers that most single people simply can’t.

5) Always save first & automate these savings

When you have a large family expenses can quickly eat up your income and leave you in a tight situation before payday but, this does not mean that saving should not be prioritised.

Provided that you don’t have any credit card balances or outstanding short-term loans, you should always put money towards savings, no matter how little this may be. Automating savings is the best way to ensure you save on a consistent basis.

6) Having an emergency fund is non-negotiable

With so many mouths to feed and so many expenses to consider, if you or your other income earning family members lose your source of income, you will have some serious shortages to deal with.

This is why it is absolutely critical for large families to have an emergency fund. You emergency fund should have at least 6 months worth of expenses in it. You should preferable keep this money in an interest generating savings account.

7) Cut down expenses as and where possible

Cutting down expenses when you have a big family may seem impossible but small adjustments and changes can have a very big effect. Whether these savings come from buying in bulk, buying second hand instead of new products or shopping for deals and specials, any savings are more than welcome!

8) Always create a budget & stick to it

Creating a budget when your children are constantly in need of school and extramural supplies, consumables and money for school trips and camps may seem impossible.

That being said, creating even a basic budget that cover housing, transport and basic food costs is absolutely necessary in order to ensure your money stretches further and that you make the most of every Dollar.

9) If you need to borrow consider peer-to-peer loans

Peer-to-peer loans offer some of the lowest interest rates in the country which are generally lower than those offered even by credit unions and leading banks.

Personal loans are not only cheaper than short-term loans and credit cards but come with longer loan terms which will allow you to secure lower monthly repayments and ensure you still have enough to cover the living expenses of your family.

10) Don’t neglect your retirement savings & plans

Many people with large families struggle to make ends meet and give very little thought to retirement planning and savings. An NZ Super will simply not be sufficient to cover yours and your spouse’s living expenses.

This means that you still need to consider opening a retirement savings account and ensure that you put money towards your retirement.

Regardless of the amount that you save every month, something is always better than nothing. You should consider putting these savings in a term savings account and allowing it to benefit from compound interest.

11) Make purchases online

When you buy online as opposed to going to the store you save on fuel and don’t have to worry about the kids beginning you to buy them things that are not on your shopping list.

This will save you a lot of money in the long run and ensure you stick to your shopping lists and budget. You can also take your time when considering specials and offers which is an added advantage.

12) Take out the time to review your expenses & finances

With a large family you may find it very difficult to set aside time for budgeting and financial planning but these simple tasks may make all the difference and help you save thousands.

Always review your finances and expenses on a monthly basis, even if this is just a quick scan of your expenses for the month.

13) Repay your home loan early or use the revolving line of credit it offers

Repaying your home loan early can save your thousands in interest and can even offer you a quick, easy and cheap way to access credit when you need it.

If you are able to make extra payments on your mortgage and do not have any credit card balances or short term loans to settle, this tip is just for you!

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