Raising a family can be expensive. Keeping costs under control can be a challenge at times. Fortunately, there are some steps both large and small that can be taken in order to save money in some key household areas.
Heating and Cooling
For many households, heating and cooling can pose a significant cost. However, there are simple ways that your family can stay warm in winter and cool in summer without breaking the bank. Easy ways to tackle temperature include window film, using fans to circulate air, and being conservative with the thermostat. More extensive ways of addressing it include improving insulation in your home.
Getting to where you need to go is a necessity, but transportation is one household cost that can take up a significant portion of the budget. One way to address this is with what you drive. If it is time to get a new car, it’s a good time to consider electric vehicle (EV) options. These are less expensive than gas or diesel automobiles, and they are more eco-friendly.
Making EVs even more attractive to budget-conscious families are the various rebates offered by the government. Check for state and federal tax credits and incentives, like the California EV rebate for electric car owners, for additional savings.
Between children growing quickly and an adult need for professional wear at work, clothing can chip away at the household budget. Fortunately, there are ways of staying stylish without breaking the bank.
For children's clothing, there are a number of options. Yard sales are, of course, a classic option. A great way to get good deals on brand name options is to head to yard sales in more affluent neighborhoods.
Yard sales can be a good option for some adult clothing, but there are several other options as well. Consignment shops both in-person and online can be a good place to find deals. Another option is to rent clothing on a short-term basis. This option has grown in popularity in the past few years and offers an affordable way to keep the wardrobe fresh.
Keeping kids entertained and happy doesn't have to be expensive. Toy libraries are a great way to have access to fresh toys without the financial or environmental cost of purchasing all of those toys new.
The public library is also a great source for entertainment. DVDs, streaming video services, toys, puzzles, books, and activities for both children and adults are just some of the things that are commonplace at libraries.
Education and Enrichment
Learning is a lifelong endeavor. Educational and enrichment opportunities can seem pricey, but there are ways of limiting expenses without limiting your family's access to culture and education.
Public libraries are an invaluable source for educational materials. Videos, books, and online services are available for learning new skills. From learning Norwegian to picking up new gardening techniques, the local library quite likely has something to help.
Also, look for sibling discounts for lessons and summer camps. It is not uncommon for there to be a discount for a second (or more) sibling.
With just a few steps, there can be more money in your family's budget. That opens up an array of other possibilities- from more travel to college savings to a more secure retirement.