9 Awesome Family Budgeting Tips

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In my loving relationship with my husband, the one thing that we still have discrepancies over is money.

We had been finding that despite earning reasonable professional incomes, we were still coming up short too often so we implemented some great family budgeting tips in order to fix this imbalance and start saving money instead!

family budgeting tipsSaving a little bit of money here and there does not call for drastic measures.

 And a little bit of saving goes a long way when accumulated over a year.  

So I would like to share with you a list of the 9 most effective family budgeting tips that we have used over the past 12 months to help us save a ton of money.

1.Cut Out The Non-Essentials

This seems like a simple enough idea.

But it will involve sacrifices which not all family members may be happy with.  

I cancelled my $80/month yoga studio membership in favour of an family budgeting tips$18/month online yoga membership.  That is a saving of $744 a year already!  I need to be extra motivated to actually do the classes but I have scheduled them on my calendar for 3 times a week, just like my old yoga studio.

It’s actually easier to do yoga at home because I can do it while the kids play in the living room behind me!

I stopped forcing my 6 year old to go to gymnastics class which was costing nearly $250 a quarter.  When I actually asked him what he wanted to do, he said politely that he didn’t actually really like gymnastics and he would rather try some karate next term.  So with the $500 I saved on gym fees, we invested in karate lessons only costing $150 for the remainder of the year.  That’s $350 less per year!

My kids started at private school and kindergarten only a year ago so we have noticed an increase in school fees, uniforms and school book costs.  But I will not have them go without proper education as I feel like education is the key to a bright future so I will never sacrifice their tuition fees.  You need to know what is important to your lives and prioritise accordingly.

Avoid going to the mall if you know you cannot avoid spending money on non-essentials.  

family budgeting tipsWe factor a little bit of cash into our monthly budget for entertainment and ‘miscellaneous’ which covers things like coffee dates or small fun items for purchase but we limit this as much as we are able and save money for the more important things.

2. Re-Finance Loans

I had a broker look at our 3 mortgages to see if we could get any better deals with different lenders.  In the end, we actually had the lowest interest rates the broker could find with the best perks so we didn’t have to change anything there.

But if you could find a better deal, re-financing your bank loans can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loans.  

Personal loans and credit card debts can also be consolidated so you pay less annual fees and lower interest rates.

Go and see your local bank or broker to see what deals can be done to improve your debt management.

3. Insurance

I recently got all of my insurance premiums hugely reduced by family budgeting tipschanging companies and getting every policy under the one umbrella. 

We had our car, caravan and apartment with one provider, our house, investment house and motorbike with another and were paying over $5000 per year altogether.

By changing everything over to the one company that offers multi-policy discounts and increasing the excess on claims to the maximum amount, I was able to reduce the premiums to just over $3000 altogether!  $2000 per year saved!

This is a significant saving that is definitely worth looking at.

4. Plan Your Meals

List your week on a calendar and plan what you are having for dinner each night.  

Then write a shopping list to correspond so you avoid unnecessary food purchases and unfortunate food wastage.

There are a bunch of free apps family budgeting tipswhich take the hassle out of this task, allowing you to browse menus, plan your week as well as add items to your grocery list.  Try Ziplist for free or a paid subscription to one like Cooksmarts.

Plan the kids school lunches in this same way and use basic and filling healthy food without spending a fortune on pre-packaged treats.  

I use my Thermomix to bake a couple of batches of quiches/chocolate cake/cookies/cupcakes/muffins/pastrys/pizzas etc at the beginning of each week which gives me a delicious and varied selection of foods for the kids lunchboxes.  We avoid regular tuckshop or canteen food unless it is a special occasion or special treat.

5. Supermarket Shopping

Save money on your supermarket shopping by writing a list usingfamily budgeting tips your menu plan and only going to the shops once per week.  

This is a great way to avoid overspending and food wastage.

Buy things in bulk, and buy things on sale.  

Read the store catalogues before deciding on a meal plan and make your choices accordingly.  This may mean a week of chicken based dishes when you find chicken at rock bottom prices.  You can be a savvy shopper without hardcore couponing and without sacrificing the quality of your purchases.

family budgeting tipsBuy fresh fruit and vegetables that are in season and avoid costly imports.

These have fewer nutrients when they have longer to travel from farm to table and they are more expensive.

Time your trip to the grocery store wisely.  

Being a busy mother, it is not always easy to sneak away to the store solo, but when I do, I find I can save money by being less distracted and avoiding impulse purchases.

Make sure you don’t go shopping when you are hungry or you may end up buying more than you budgeted for!

I also enjoy going on a Sunday afternoon for discounted meat and bread.  And I know that around 3.30pm on weekdays my local store has heavily discounted and still great quality fruit and vegetables letting you fill a bag for $3!

Try generic brands.  

The supermarket brand staples are often half the price of the well known brand items and sometimes just as good.  I will buy flour, sugar, cocoa and other staple items in the generic brands.  Some generic items are sub-par at best however so despite being a fraction of the cost, there are a lot of things that I will not bother buying.

Peruse the shelves both high and low for best prices and on the spotfamily budgeting tips specials and don’t neglect to check the unit prices.  

Retailers tend to place the most mainstream and most expensive grocery items at eye level which is to trick customers into paying more.  Look on the top and bottom shelves for mid range and cheaper items.  The price per unit is also listed on the price tag and is a great way to compare items of a different size to find yourself the best deal possible.

6. Pay With Cash

A great way to save money is to pay with cash rather than card.  

I withdraw my spending money for the week and then spend it exactly where it is allocated in the budget.  For instance my weekly grocery shop budget is $250.  So I make sure I don’t go over that at the store.

This really hits home on the value of money.  family budgeting tips

When you pay with credit or debit card, it’s as if you are not even using real money.  With cold hard cash however I really feel as if it’s my hard earned dollars that I am spending here and hence, I spend less!

7. Watch Your Consumables

Consumables such as petrol or electricity can really add up our day to day expenses.  

Stop using so much gas by walking or riding a bike or catching the bus where you are able.  Not only is it better for your health, but also your wallet and the environment! Win, win.

Look online for the cheapest places for fuel in your local area before refilling your tank.  

Wefamily budgeting tips fill at up at the supermarket owned gas stations because we get a fuel discount with our weekly shop and can save at least 4cents per litre (that’s 16cents per gallon of fuel!).  In a 130L tank (that’s about 35gallons) I save $5 off my re-fuel.  This will give me an extra $100 over a normal year in my back pocket!

Save energy within your house by using energy efficient light-bulbs and by simply turning off lights that you are not using.  

It sounds easy enough, but it can mean real savings in the long term.

Have shorter showers.  

Use air-conditioners efficiently at moderate temps with all of the doors and windows closed.  

When it comes time to replace appliances such as washing machines or fridges, purchase ones that are rated as energy and water efficient.

8. Collect Your Change

This may seem like small fry, but it really works for me.

Put a piggy bank on your kitchen counter and start accumulating all of your loose change over a period of time, say a year.  

At the end of 12 months, this could be a dinner date or a special treat for yourselves.  Get the whole family involved for even more savings!

9. Consider Your Living Arrangements

Your rent or house repayments make up a significant part of your family budgeting tipsoutgoings each month.  

Can you arrange lesser repayments on your house loan?  Or maybe you could negotiate cheaper rent with your landlord.  Can you rent out a room or take in an exchange student for a short or longer term financial adjustment?

If your income and expenditure are too far out of balance, you either need to increase one (income), or decrease the other (expenditure).

There are heaps of ways to help to earn a bit of extra money from home in order to supplement your income.

For my #1 recommendation on how to supplement your income click here!

I hope my family budgeting tips will help to relieve some financial pressure in your household.

Please let me know you go implementing these ideas and comment below if you have some hot family budgeting tips of your own!




Add Yours
  1. 1

    Hello Kris,

    I think that if each of us gave it some real thought, we could all find ways that we could easily decrease much of our unnecessary spending. We many times say how hard it is to save, but it really isn’t.

    Several years ago I took a hard look at my finances and for one month without changing the way I spent my money, I kept a record of everything that I spend right down to the last penny. At the end of the month, I went through my records to determine just how much of what I spent was unnecessary. The next month, I thought about what I was spending and asked myself before I spent anything was the purchase necessary. If I made the choice to not spend something, I took that amount and put it in a savings jar. By the end of the second month, my savings jar was quite full. It was $748.00 full!!!

    That was doing away with unnecessary spending for just one single month. Think what it could be for one year!
    After that, the way I spend money was forever changed.

    Your tips on budgeting are on point. I actually already use many of them. People, especially couples, should start budgeting and use your tips to help their money go farther. Couples also need to be on the same wave length to get the finances where they should be.

    The tips you gave were very good and I can vouch that they do work.

    Thanks for sharing.


    • 2

      H Verna, thanks for the comment.

      That is such a great idea and I did a similar thing where I really looked hard at every cent I was spending over a month until I could pinpoint areas which were costing too much.

      One of the main areas i had to reduce was my supermarket shopping habits.

      I was tending to go to the shops every day for extra things and never knew what I was doing for dinner each night. This meant my grocery bill was huge and my food wastage was also substantial.

      These days I save heaps of money by living within my means and following the tips above. And i still have room for heaps of fun too!

      Cheers, Kris

  2. 3

    Fantastic list of ways to save your income. This isn’t important but I really like your website and the way you present your content.

    It always seems difficult to save money for me and I wish there was a way to supplement my income.

    Having a job gets me nowhere financially. It’s cruel how we have to work to make a living and end up nowhere at the end of your career.

    • 4

      I agree Benjamin. It’s sad having to be a slave to your wage. You either have to decrease your outgoings exponentially, or else somehow increase your income.

      I found a way to do that here. You can too!

      Best of Luck, Kris

  3. 5

    I read your budgeting tips for families and really enjoyed the advice you give. There is a lot of things that people can do to save money and using a budget is important.
    My question to you is the statement that you have 3 mortgages. How long do have to pay these off? Do you have anything saved for emergencies ?


    • 6

      Hi Angela,

      2 of the mortgages exist as interest only loans and they pretty much cover themselves with the rent. Then the other is our house that we live in. We have got 25 years on each of the mortgages.

      And yes, we do have an emergency fund! Plus a decent enough weekly wage.

      We are trying to use long term capital gains from property as an investment choice. It remains to be soon if it works out or not!

      So as you can see if is really important for us to find every little extra dollar that is available.

      Thanks for the comment, KRis

  4. 7

    Hi Kris,
    Love your saving tips. My own crunch time is going to the supermarket. As soon as I think I need something or run out of something, off I go and end up with bags to take home. I am so glad you did not compromise on the kids schooling and I do agree with you in that area.
    Could you perhaps add car pooling with other moms to save fuel (and much needed time). A mom’s job never ends.
    Thank you for these lovely tips and good luck to you

    • 8

      Great Idea Louise! Car pooling is a great idea to save money.

      And have you ever noticed at the supermarket that they deliberately place the milk in the far back corner so you can’t simply duck in for a bottle of milk without walking all the way past heaps of other items that you may or may not need?!

      Cheers, Kris

  5. 9
    Travis Smithers

    One of many excellent posts you have generated and this particular post is so relevant to many. I have been doing some of your tips which make a difference, and there are others that I can see about incorporating into my lifestyle that will help out even farther.

    I find regardless of how much money you make it is always wise not to waste even though you can. For instance, as you mentioned about energy efficient appliances and watching the power usage. There is more than just saving money on these things that are important.

    Again great post!

    • 10

      Thanks so much Travis!

      Waste not, want not as the old adage goes.

      Saving energy not only saves you money, but also might just save the planet as well!

      That’s a win win.

      Regards, Kris

  6. 11
    Heather Montgomery

    These are great tips for moms who are super frazzled and need to get it together (like myself). My favorite tips are “Plan your meals ahead” and “Supermarket Shopping”. So many people don’t realize how much they impulse buy. And also, they don’t like to look high and low for better deals, would rather just grab whatever is right in front of their face. Glad someone pointed that out!

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