Parenting is an enjoyable journey filled with multiple responsibilities. Our lifestyle has changed dramatically in last few years. Parenting is seen as more difficult today than in the past. Even the basic tasks of feeding, clothing, protecting and educating kids seem harder. And the most difficult part of parenting is handling the financial responsibilities. Financial stress is one of the most concerning aspects of our life. As a parent, it has become difficult to manage our expenses within a budget. So, what can we do to reduce the ‘financial stress’? What should our strategies be to avoid the unnecessary tensions?
Of course, pre-preparation is must for best result. And adopting a frugal and economic approach is the key to all our financial worries. How much you earn does not matter, but keeping an economical approach towards our expenses helps us in reducing financial stress. Definitely, living a frugal life requires certain lifestyle changes and a conscious awareness about how we are spending and saving money. My idea of thrifty living comprises basic three principles:
- Smart shopping
- Use appropriately and waste less
- Save in advance
Shopping is a routine life activity where we buy things we want and need. But majority of the people shop impulsively and buy stuff that they neither need nor want. Some quick tips to save money by being a smart buyer are
- Plan in advance
Usually, we prepare a shopping list right before we step out. But it is a clever idea to prepare a shopping list at least 1-2 day prior to shopping and recheck it. There will be some items that are not an absolute necessity and will help you save a handsome amount of money.
- Research well
Compare prices, maintain a price book, try to find alternative shopping options such as a thrift store, yard or garage sale and select the needed items appropriately.
- Check for discounts, sales and offers
Heavy electronic items, clothes, jewellery put an extra pressure on your budget. Wait until there is a discount on the products but avoid over enthusiastic approach at the time of sales. We tend to buy unnecessary things during sales and forget to check its actual utility.
Use items appropriately
Many a times, the products we have bought impulsively in the past are sparingly put to use. It is completely a waste of money, time and efforts. Similarly, it is equally important to maintain everything you own. Proper care may increase the life of expensive products.
Save in advance
In most cases, expenses are higher than the fixed budget and savings are out of question. But if we get into a habit of saving a fixed amount of money in advance, it will reduce our anxiety. Saving at the start of every month before expenses begin is a good way to save for a rainy day.
Apart from these three basic rules, there are some lifestyle hacks that can help us to get more thrifty fun.
- Curb weekend expenses- Weekend entertainment causes a huge hole in our pocket. Try to set an alternate pattern of paid and unpaid activities and events for the weekend. Park visits, free educational events are the great way to enjoy the weekend at no cost. Also, limit eating out to once in a month or on special occasion. Instead pre-plan the menu and enjoy a healthy meal with family.
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle – Eating healthy and exercising regularly will help you to stay healthy and fit. Take the stairs whenever possible or avoid using a vehicle for short distances. It will reduce your medical expenses, fuel bills and junk food expenditures.
- Recycle- Reusing and recycling is a great way to living a frugal life. It helps save energy, environment and money. It gives immense pleasure when we convert trash into treasure with our creativity and imagination. Involve your kids in decluttering and recycling activity at home.
I believe, applying these simple strategies can reduce family financial stress. It may be the easiest way for parenting within a budget. But remember, do not stress too much over frugality. Try to adopt it in a fun and creative way. These were my ideas to live a frugal life. What are yours?
Surbhi is a qualified doctor (B.H.M.S.) with 5 year of teaching and clinical experience. She started her writing journey at the age of 17 and published various articles in famous news paper and magazines. The most incredible experience of her life is being a mommy of two cute dolls. Recently she started her own blog Positive Parenting. She loves to write on crafting, parenting issues and kids activity and wants to share her parenting journey with others.