Being a Mummy can be expensive, and those little treats like the odd coffee in town, or the usual baby groups, or snacks for our little ones, can suddenly all mount up. If you’re like me, you might be trying to fit in lots of fun activities with your child whilst also sticking to a very tight budget. Here’s my tips on how to save those pennies:
- Allow yourself a weekly budget – it is inevitable that you will spend some money each week, so work out in advance roughly how much you need to take your children out, and then factor this into your monthly costs. Include the costs of any toddler groups, coffees in town, the odd snacks and also money for public transport if you use this.
- Allow a little extra money on top of the weekly budget – there are often those unexpected extras that we want each week such as an extra play session or a spontaneous coffee with a friend, so add a couple of pounds onto the budget to cover these. Better to be under budget than be over it!
- Stick to the budget – once you have your weekly allowance, stick to it! Don’t be tempted to add extra treats onto the card.
- Save any leftover pounds – with a few pounds leftover each week it is very tempting to go for one extra coffee, or buy a little treat for your child, but save them in a jar at home, this way after a couple of months you will probably have enough to do a special outing with them.
- Use cash instead of card – I have a weekly budget and I try and always get the cash out in my purse at the start of the week. Not only is it much easier to keep track of what I’ve got left, it also makes me think whether or not I really need to buy that extra treat, as I can see how few pounds I have remaining to last for so many days.
- Research toddler groups and activities before planning your week. Some of them are much cheaper than others! Most of the groups we go to cost around £1 to £3 and include a drink/snack.
- Limit the expensive activities. Whenever I take Jonas swimming or to certain soft play sessions, I am amazed at the total cost. They often work out at close to £6, a massive proportion of my weekly budget! So, if you want to do these things, do one a week!
- Buy snacks and take them out with you! I am as guilty as the next person as purchasing my son a snack in a coffee shop because I have forgotten to bring anything with me, but I’m learning! He is just as happy with a small snack from the supermarket which often cost about a tenth of the price!
- Make use of supermarket rewards! We shop with Tesco and I love their Clubcard rewards! We saved earlier this year and managed to get three tickets to Drusillas Park which we used for Jonas’ 2nd birthday treat! Someone told me the other day one of the coffee shops in my local town also now uses Clubcard vouchers, so it’s definitely worth researching!
- Set your childs expectations! I need to consider how I’m raising my son. Am I raising a child that is constantly taken to multiple soft play sessions and expensive groups, and is brought snacks and drinks at every opportunity. Am I teaching him he can have little treats all the time? Or am I raising him to show that these things are luxuries! I think generally these days we have many more things than mums used to have 30 years ago, there are certainly many, many more activities put on for children now. But there is definitely value in teaching our children that they don’t need a constant stream of entertainment at groups.
Occasionally when we haven’t spent much of our weekly budget I’ll take Jonas to our local newsagent and let him choose a children’s magazine. We walk there together, and then I tell him he can choose any of them and he absolutely loves it. It’s cheaper than many of the play sessions and actually great bonding time for us!
So there it is, my tips on saving those pennies each week. What great advice do you have on saving money?