Are you failing at getting your family on board when it comes to saving? We can all agree that this can be a struggle and the main subject of many disagreements sometimes. Today, my fellow blogger Heather O’Donnell is sharing with us 4 fun ways to save money as a family.
Saving money can be really difficult if you’re doing in alone. It’s frustrating to scrimp and save when the rest of your family is spending those savings without a second thought. But there is an easy solution to this dilemma – save money together as a family. That quick fix might have you thinking to yourself “Yeah right! My family does not want to help me save money!” Don’t worry. There is a secret to getting your family on board. Make it fun! Here are 4 fun ways to save money as a family.
4 Fun ways to Save Money as a Family
#1. Set a family savings goal
Together with your family, decide on something that everyone really wants to save for. Maybe your family wants to go on a special trip, or maybe you all want something new for your home, like a new tv. It doesn’t need to be something huge, but it needs to be something that matters to you and to your other family members.
If your kids are old enough (and it’s up to you to decide if they are), get them involved! Let them help decide what your family needs.
Here is the test that helps you decide if your family has decided on the right goal:
Imagine yourself in the grocery store with your child, who has just picked up a package of cookies. Would reminding your child of your family’s goal be enough to get them to put the cookies down?
If yes, then you know you have the right goal.
The key to using your goal to keep your family on track with saving is to keep the goal fresh in your minds. So, talk about your goal over dinner. Daydream about it together. Track your progress as a team.
This will make your family’s efforts to save so much more focused – and enjoyable!
#2. Have fun for free
How much money are you spending to entertain your family? Most families are spending a lot. Entertainment is one of the easiest expenses to cut as a family because there are so many free activities that you could be doing! You’ll be amazed at how much money you can save simply by making a few simple shifts in your family’s recreation.
Brainstorm ideas with your family. Use the activities you usually do to inspire some free alternatives.
Here are some examples of free family activities:
- Skip the expensive indoor trampoline park and take your kids to your local playground
- Make going for a walk fun by playing I-spy along the way
- Take advantage of your local landscape – go to the beach or lake or go hike a mountain or run around in a field
- Spend a rainy day or night indoors watching a movie together
- Have a picnic
The possibilities are endless! There are so many free activities to choose from.
Try out as many different free activities as you can. Keep track of the ones your family likes the best and keep those in your toolbox of ideas to use for free entertainment in the future.
#3. Make a game out of cutting your food costs
Most of us know that meal planning and shopping with a list can seriously reduce the amount we spend on food. But those things probably sound kind of boring to your children.
“Trick” your kids into meal planning with you by making it a game. Have a conversation about your family’s favorite lunches and dinners. Steer their choices away from expensive options. Write each meal choice out on a post-it or little piece of paper. Then, fold them up and throw them in a bowl. Take turns choosing meals and adding them to the calendar.
Hint: If there is a specific meal that you want to have on a certain day, simply add that to your calendar ahead of time and skip over that day while you’re choosing meal ideas with your family.
Create a shopping list together based on your meal plan. If you’re taking your kids shopping with you, use your shopping list as a defense against their impulse purchase suggestions.
“Sorry honey, we can’t get that because it isn’t on our list. Remember when we made our shopping list?”
That’s so much more effective when it’s a list you’ve made together.
As an added bonus, because your family is involved in your meal plan they will be excited about the meals that are coming during the week. This you all more likely to stick to your meal plan and overcome the money-sucking eating out or take-out food challenge that your family may have struggled with.
#4. Challenge yourselves with a spending freeze
A spending freeze is the most effective way to save a big chunk of money in a short period of time. It’s exactly what it sounds like, you freeze your spending and for a set amount of time, you don’t buy anything. This is something else that probably wouldn’t sound fun to your kids (and maybe even your husband) unless you put a fun spin on it.
So, instead of saying “well family, we’re just not going to buy anything for a while,” make it sound like a fun and exciting challenge!
Tell them you’ve heard about this exciting challenge that you want to try but you’re not quite sure if they’re up to it. Point out how it would bring your family so much closer to your goal.
Have them convince you that your family can face this challenge!
You can use each other for moral support to stay on track throughout your spending freeze. And once you’ve completed your freeze, be sure to celebrate together with one of your family’s favorite free activities!
Have fun saving money together
I hope these 4 fun ways to save money as a family have convinced you that you can get your family involved in your money saving efforts! Start by setting a family savings goal so you are all on the same page about what you’re working towards. Reduce your recreation costs by having fun for free. Make a game out of meal planning and seriously lower your family’s food expenses. And challenge your family with a spending freeze to save faster.
You’ll be amazed at how much more money you can save when your family is on board!
What are some interesting ideas that have helped you and your family save money together? We’d love to hear any you might have. Please share them with us below in the comment section!