Saving & Budgeting As A Stay-At-Home Parent.

26 July Ayesha Farhad 27 Comments

Money has always been a very very touchy subject in many households. Whether to save or to spend? Or whether to save to spend, it has always been an issue.

When I was in Pakistan, living the single life, it was so much easier to earn money and then save. there were no major protocols to be carried out before you started earning. Here, in the UK, every little thing has to be taxed and before you start earning, there is a major protocol to be carried out. Which kind of takes the fun out of earning money, you see?

So, coming back to the married life and being a stay- at- home parent, depression kind of hit me hard. I had no savings, no disposable income to call my own that I can blow off without any care in the world. My husband is the sole earner of the house and pays the bills and other shenanigans ( I mustn't say that but it's a fun word). Which means I can not spend money like a 19 year old, thinking I own the sodding world. And add a child to that, I spend more on baby clothes than on myself! 

So how do I end up saving money as a stay-at-home parent? These are the very few tips (in no order) that I have applied heavily in my life and routine and mom, if you are reading, you should be proud: I have managed to save a bit (which I tend to actually spend on pointless things, but oh, the joy of retail therapy). 

1. SELL SELL SELL.

We live in the world of internet and online shopping. You might think that by 2017 we should've been able to download the clothes and makeup but no. Anyway. If you are on Facebook,  there are quite a few hundred buying and selling groups. I have joined at least 50. If you have clothes, shoes, accessories in mint condition, then go ahead and sell them off. I have sold clothes that have been worn only for like an hour or maybe a day for occasions and I knew that I wouldn't be able to wear them again, so I've put them up on these selling sites and made quite a bit of money. If you have baby toys, put a job lot advert and sell them off. It's easy money. 

2. Loose change goes in a money counter jar.

I have this habit of putting loose change in a jar. I actually have two jars. One labeled charity and one labeled as saving. Putting loose change in a charity jar is a habit that I have learned from my mother. And I think it will be something that I see myself doing for the rest of my life. 
I have gone ahead and bought a coin counter jar from eBay and I swear it has made my life so so much easier. I know how much I am saving and how much I actually need to put in loose change in the jar. So if ever, I am feeling kind of disappointed with the savings in the jar, I literally rummage the entire house and put in whatever loose change I find. 

3. You saved £3.50 today receipt.

This little gem of a saving technique was found on a small lifestyle group that I belong to on Facebook. So every time you go shopping and when you exit the counter, you are always handed a small receipt that tells you how much you saved with your shopping (even with multi-buy savings). So whatever amount I have saved that day, whether it is just a few pennies or rupees, I make sure that I transfer that amount to my saving account or to my coin counter jar. So, for example, I saved £2.50 today with my weekly groceries, I put in the change in the coin counter jar. It has saved me quite a lot of money with this. I won't say hundreds but yes, a few pounds at least.

4. Saving committees.

Many of my Pakistani readers can relate to this. One of the BESTEST way to save money is creating a committee group. A few friends/relatives come together and transfer a set amount of money to a person(changes every month). So for example, I have a group of 11 friends. And we have decided to save up to £100 every month. So each month, we all transfer £100 to a friend (their saving). I usually choose the transfer at the end of the year so that I won't have the urge to spend all the money at once. So each month, a person from the group gets £1100 to spend or to save.

5. Impulsive shopping.

Now, don't worry, I am not going to ask to you completely stop spending money. Stay-at-home mothers usually find sanity in buying products. I know I do. Whether it is a new top, new makeup, even new crockery, we find pleasure in shopping. Because at the end of the day, with handling a family, chores, fighting post-natal depression, the small things that perk us up are packages being delivered to us and for us. But if you find something online, that you think you ought to have it immediately, put it in your shopping cart and finish doing your chores or whatever it is that you were doing previously and come back a couple of hours later to that shopping cart and see if you still want that item. You probably wouldn't. 
Also, when you go out for your weekly grocery shopping, make sure you go after having a meal. That way, you won't be tempted to buy things that you don't need (cough, junk food, cough). 
But girrrl, you gotta get that Starbucks frappe to cheer you up.

6. Cash-back websites.

If you shop online as much as I do, cash back websites are your best friends. These websites offer you a certain percentage of cash back from your online shopping. The percentage actually depends on the brand/store that you are shopping from and you get the cash back pretty much immediately in your account. I usually like to leave it in there for a couple of months before I withdraw it to my bank account. These are amazing for saving money. I have saved at least £300 with Top cash back.

7. Budgeting.

As boring as it sounds, it is probably the most easiest way to save money. With whatever money you get at the beginning of the month (my husband transfers a specific amount of money every month into my bank account for myself only) budget your money accordingly. If you think you need beauty products that particular month, jot down the products with their prices and take that money out. And then carry on with all the other things that you need to do or buy. This way, you will see what you spend on and you don't find necessary to spend on. It will save you quite a lot of money and impulsive decisions. 

8. Find a hobby that pays. 

Seriously. If you think you cook amazing food, you can start with charged catering for your family and friends. If you think that you write well, there are a lot of freelance websites that pay. Even though it's something very very small but hey, you're earning. 
If you think your second language is really good, you can start giving out summer tuitions. There are so many things that you can start doing from home. Crocheting, book keeping, cleaning jobs, ironing (pays immensely well) and so much more. If you find something that pays well, you can always start saving up for something big, like your own car, maybe a house, a holiday or anything branded that you have been eyeing. 

9. Frugal living. 

This is an idea that may or may not be feasible for a lot of people but I have seen so much change in my monthly grocery budget with frugal living. By no means am I implying that I am a master of this technique, but frugal living has made saving a bit easier. When you are grocery shopping, look for products that do the same job but at a lower price. for example, I find that the stores own products work the same way a big brand would in a fraction of a price. buying goods in bigger packs are also feasible since they save you the cost of per product. Couponing, not wasting food (leftovers), not buying expensive chocolate every month or maybe instead of buying expensive clothes, look for less expensive versions in other stores. And instead of buying cleaning products that do the same job as products you might find in the kitchen and DIY them, it might help you save a bit of money. Again, this might not float with a lot of people so you can always scratch that. 

Saving money isn't has hard and over bearing as a lot of people think it is. Look for bigger things to save for. Things that you think have a future investment and you won't blow all the saving on but by no means am I implying that you cant save to have little luxuries in your life. It is always nice to save for a pair of shoes that you have been eyeing, or maybe a dress that you think would look good on you. 

Always remember, if your family sees you saving money for the good things in life, they might incorporate in their own daily habits as well. And that is a good thing, right? Money might come and go, but good habits will always remain. 

27 comments:

  1. These are some amazingly comprehensive tips! I'm also a big fan of the "envelope" budgeting method - whether with apps or actual envelopes.

    The trick for anyone is to keep experimenting to find what works by tweaking our budgets and systems until we find the right balance that fits our unique family and lifestyle.

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  2. Absolutely love your tips. They are clear comprehensive and easy to do. I think this will inspire many struggling mums to save a few extra quid!

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  3. Love these tips, I often have a clear out every few months and list things on Ebay to earn some extra money x

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  4. Wow. The way that you are following to make a budget and then save something good to adjust in next month expenditures, is a best way to save something better.

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  5. Love the post. Saving money is so important! But a balance i feel is even more important where you dont end up depriving yourself just because you want to save some money. I like the idea of finding cheaper alternatives.I prefer doing my groceries etc from Lidl over Tesco now, literally half the price!! Farmers markets are great for fruits and vegetables and of course the coin jar! I picked up one from PoundLand and it does feel quite heavy by now haha!

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  6. I have no idea about saving I swear. I guess it's because I am not married or like I am not doing any job. I can't save money I don't know why. These tips are really beneficial actually. Thank you for sharing ❤

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  7. I love the idea of a Saving Comittee, what a great way to accumulate money!

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  8. These are some great tips - you've come up with a few that I have never seen covered on blogs before such as a savings committee - that sounds like an interesting idea!

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  9. Thank you for the wonderful tips....with the burning inflation and raise of enormous taxes in India...saving a penny is big task...

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  10. Wonderful tips. Yes with increased tax in India,these tips surely helps. I'm gonna check some online selling group first. :)

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  11. I use cash back sites like Ebates and they do help. I agree that saving money, even a little bit each week does help x

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  12. Amazing tips. Seriously never heard of most of them or paid much attention but now that i've read your post, they really look quite affective and useful! Will definitely try it out! Thank you for sharing! Saving is always a bonus

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  13. I need to start using cashback websites as they are a great way to make money! :)

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  14. Budgeting is my biggest challenge! I appreciate all your advice. I am going to try better!

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  15. Thanks for sharing! I never thought about saving before, that's because I don't earn :p but yes will keep them in mind for future!!!!

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  16. Some fab tips! I also have a jar but it's so lovely you have a charity jar too! We use cashback websites too x

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  17. Love the tips! I feel the same since giving birth - even though I'm currently working part-time, it's only enough for my own little expenses so Hubby is pretty much providing for everything... I have one of these counting jars, best thing ever to see that loose change add up!

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  18. These are great tips, I use cashback sites and also cash back on my debit card. Love the idea of saving what you saved on your weekly shopping

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  19. Very good advice. I am single and earn through freelance writing and currently got a job as a montessori teacher. I have a habit of spending all my money at once. Would love to get some advice on how to save money while one is still single. Hehehe!

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  20. Some fantastic tips here that I absolutely need to follow!

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  21. Great tips! They seem so obvious but you don't tend to think of the obvious ones. Hadn't thought about the savings receipt one though, love that!

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  22. I think it's a fact of life as soon as you become a parent to be honest. I used to have so much money to spare before the kids, but now everything goes on them or their futures. I like your tip on the receipt savings. I've always thought those were a bit pointless, but you're right, we wouldn't miss it if we put it away, and it soon mounts up!

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  23. These all sound like amazing ways on saving money! I need to sell some stuff on eBay

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  24. I have to be honest, I'm rubbish at buying second hand and selling my stuff! I need to get better! xxx

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  25. I love all of these tips! I am literally in the middle of trying to sort out a pile of clothing to sell, I have a change jar and also I have a old bank account that I try and put a little bit of money every month towards Christmas.
    Another great thing I found was the Terramundi ceramic money pots. You can only smash them to get the money out, so it isn't tempting to get a pound out here and there - I had over £400 in mine when I finally broke it

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  26. Great advice, some I already do but others I will consider like cashback websites, thanks!

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  27. These are great tips! The savings committees are also a thing in Mexican culture. It can be a great way to save up for something special every year. x

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