If you’re looking to purchase a home, you’re going to need a deposit, and to secure that deposit, you’re going to need to budget and save. Louisa Sanghera from Zippy Finance shares her tips on where you can cut corners and save cash.
For busy mums with small kids, a leisurely café breakfast isn’t a daily luxury that can be easily skipped – it’s more of a dream in the face of the reality of corralling kids to stop messing about and to eat their Vegemite toast in the mornings. But there are a few simple ways to save money, and perhaps even get a little healthier, too, on the way to saving for a home or big investment.
1. Save on petrol
Rather than paying to sit in stationary traffic on the congested roads around your kids’ school, enrol in a walking bus scheme (or even start your own). It’s a fun, social way for your kids to get to school with their friends and it is great exercise.
2. Buy second-hand uniforms
Isn’t it funny how a new item of school uniform looks like an old item of school uniform within a couple of weeks? Rather than pay a premium for clothing that’s going to get splattered with ink/paint/lunch/snot the moment it’s worn, save dollars by picking up items second-hand.
3. Start a book/toy-sharing club
The novelty of a new plaything soon wears off, so rather than shelling out for every new must-have lump of plastic, get together with friends and exchange your toys and books. Check to see if there’s a toy library operating in your area, too. Borrow books from the library rather than buy your own too. Kids love a trip to the library.
4. Keep a present cupboard
As all kids know, a birthday means cake and presents … and more presents. If you’ve a couple of kids, the cost of their social lives can quickly mount up. So if you see a good gift on sale, buy in bulk and stash them away. You can also stock up for other kids present so when a school friend’s party comes around you’ve got a great present already in the cupboard that you grabbed whilst on sale.
5. Shop alone
Leave the kids at home with Dad when you go grocery shopping. Write a list before you go and stick to it. Cruising the aisles with kids demanding that you fill your trolley with sugary treats and processed junk can cost you dearly at the check-outs. Or better still shop online at home that way you don’t get tempted by the specials at the end of the aisles. You can get free delivery certain times and days of the week. You also get to see what you’ve spend before you pay and it’s much easier – and less embarrassing to take a few items out of your basket in the privacy of your home that it is in a busy check-out queue.
6. Cut out the coffee
Rather than meeting friends for coffee in cafes, meet in a park or library instead and save your skim latte and babycino money. Lavish avo brekkies aren’t the only café fodder to siphon away finances!
7. Declutter for cash
Rather than hoard toys, games, books and clothing that your children have grown out of, sell them immediately on eBay, Gumtree or a local buy/sell Facebook group. If items are too small to sell individually, bundle a pack of related goods together and sell them as a bulk pack.
8. Fill the tins and freezer
Rather than buying pre-packaged food and snacks, make your own. Home-made pizza bases, cookies and cakes taste 100% better than the packet versions. And if your nerves can take it, you can always get your kids to lend a helping hand! Buy in bulk, make a trip to Costco Wholesale and buy food and household goods in bulk. You can do this with friends too, and split the items.. Then you can cook the food you bought in large batches and store then in your freezer – saves on midweek cooking time too!
9. Get organised
Setting a goal is the first step in achieving a goal, and working out a clear plan of your finances will provide the roadmap to your final destination – a home of your own. The first step is to sit down and work out your exact expenditure. To make this job easier, Zippy offer a Budgeting Spreadsheet in an Excel format so you can record exactly what you have coming in and going out each month. By keeping a record and filling it in, you will gain a clear picture of where your money is going, and be able to prioritise your expenditure. Just remember that every little sacrifice you make, is one step closer to your final goal of a family home.