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People across the world have suddenly seen their incomes shrink or in some cases, disappear altogether. This is both distressing and stressful, no matter what your living situation, but for those with large families, it can be an extremely traumatic experience. Having to survive on a small budget when there are several mouths to feed and things like clothes or medical expenses to contend with is not easy, but there are a few strategies you can employ to make life a little easier. In this article, we discuss how to make even the smallest of budgets go as far as possible.
When everybody eats together, it keeps food costs down. Preparing meals that can feed the whole family is far more effective than allowing everybody to graze on whatever they feel like. It can also have the added bonus of allowing you all to talk to each other and share your problems or worries. Cooking large batches of economical food can be a great way of cutting down on your shopping bills and it also means that you have peace of mind in terms of what your children and your partner are eating.
Online payments, subscriptions and microtransactions can all add up very quickly and without proper monitoring, even younger children can end up costing you a fortune. Though some level of spending allowance is important for young people to have an enjoyable childhood, parents should be mindful of how much they are giving their kids to spend on a daily basis. Encouraging responsible spending and starting habits like saving and self-control at young age can be good ways to teach your tribe the value of money.
Though this can be tough, especially when you do not have much coming in, keeping up repayments on anything you have borrowed is essential if you want to avoid falling into financial trouble. If you have been adversely affected by the Covid 19 crisis, you may be eligible to apply for financial support from your government and you may also be able to negotiate a payment holiday with your lenders. Being able to pay off what you have borrowed and still afford the basics that make life possible is important, though, so never pay loan instalments before you have covered the cost of food, fuel and anything else your family needs to survive.
Spending for its own sake is never recommended unless you are very wealthy and buying things you do not really need is irresponsible when you are managing a family a tight budget. Try to encourage every member of the family to find the best prices they can whenever they are planning to spend any money. This means avoiding things like brand new releases when it comes to video games or considering cheaper, non-brand alternatives when it comes to food and clothes shopping. It is not always the most popular tactic, especially amongst brand conscious teenagers, but it will save you a lot of money in the long run if you can establish this behaviour early on.
When you are feeding, clothing, and entertaining a large family, bulk buys and group discounts can be an absolute lifesaver. Try to look out for multipack bargains when shopping in the supermarket as they generally work out much cheaper than buying separate products. If you are taking the family on holiday or travelling anywhere, it is always worth contacting tour operators or transport companies to see if they provide any kind of reduction in price for group bookings. Most established operators will do this as they would rather have the business than lose it to a competitor.
Though it is nice to have nice things, sharing is something that can make food, clothes, games and almost any other product go a little further. If you are on a tight budget and trying to manage a large family, talk to your children about the value of sharing. This can be applied to everything from leftover food to Netflix subscriptions. It will take a certain amount of negotiation and compromise initially but with enough practice, sharing can help you get the most from your money in the long term.
Those with large families understand that every penny counts and borrowing unnecessarily can jeopardize your family’s health and wellbeing dramatically. Though personal loans are part and parcel of everyday life for many families, they should never be used as a replacement for a regular income. Ensure that if you do decide to use a personal loan, that there is a good reason for it and that you and your family members have a reliable means of generating an income in order to pay back what you have borrowed.
This way of living takes some serious practice and it will take time to get right but it benefits both the planet and your wallet. Try to teach your children about the importance of cutting down on waste as this will promote more responsible behaviour in the future. Avoiding wasteful spending, throwing away food or old toys is a good start. You can also consider things like recycling clothes by making repairs yourself. For people who are used to a convenience driven lifestyle, this may require some adjustment but over time, it will save you more money than you might expect.
Times are tough at the moment and managing a large family on a small budget is extremely challenging. The key is to focus on value and to prioritise carefully. If everybody does their bit, large families can still enjoy a comfortable life without having to spend more than their means allow.