Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Financial advice for families

When you have children you become much more aware of your finances and your future, you have bigger worries associated with the extra costs involved raising a family and possibly managing on a reduced income if you had to give up your job or reduce your hours to look after your children.  It’s a little scary when some papers declare that the cost of raising a child is £230,000!  It’s an eye opener for sure, but there are ways to bring down the costs.

Make sure you apply for everything you are entitled to, do your research you might be surprised by just how much help there is available out there.  Benefits from the government and charitable organisations that can stop you sinking into debt.  Don’t feel like you have to struggle alone, get advice and take it from there.

Also don’t feel your baby needs to have everything new either, gratefully accept the kindness of friends and family who might be able to help out with clothes, toys and books their children have outgrown.  It’s not a competition about what brand your child is wearing as long as they are comfortable and warm that’s all that matters.

Don’t forget the library if you want to read a book, the same for your children, many of them have additional activities on free of charge.  Why spend when you can enjoy the same for free, look at your lifestyle and see where savings can be made.  My mum was always saying look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.

Get a copy of your bank statement and circle any non-essential expenditure that you can possibly cut back on.  Go through your receipts, see how you can cut back on the food budget.

I have started getting hubbie into the habit of taking a packed lunch, as over a month it was a considerable cost and the bank is definitely happier without the added expense!  Hopefully by being more aware of your finances your children will learn by your example and have the skills to budget and save accordingly.

By taking advantage of the help out there and being more frugal when you first start a family means you might have funds at your disposal.  Rather than spend them it’s worth squirreling them away for a rainy day or to help achieve your child’s dream when they get older.  Kentreliance have savings bonds that give you the security of a set rate of interest.

If your child shows an interest in an activity or sport its natural you would want to support that, but training and equipment can be expensive.  It’s a real worry thinking about how you will afford it all, that’s when having money put aside will be godsend.  I might not be overly concerned if my child doesn’t have the latest trainers or football kit but I do want them to be able to try out new activities and experiences without worrying about the cost as I think that does enrich their lives.

I know one parent has signed her child up to Stageschool who knows their dream to act might turn into a reality!  My two seem happy enough just coasting along, dipping into different clubs and activities but not finding the one yet that truly inspires them - for now anyway.

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