Almost £76,000. That’s the basic cost of raising a child until the age of 18 if the latest figures are to be believed.
Add in childcare and that figure rises to £155,000 according to a report by Child Poverty Action Group. Each.
I’m not sure whether that means I should be multiplying £155,000 by three to work out how much we’ll have spent raising our three by the time they’re 18, or whether there’s some saving to be had by having three, but what I do know is that’s an awful lot of money.
We’re currently counting down the months until the middle one starts school and our monthly nursery bill will halve – I cannot wait – and it’s fair to say the last few years have been tough from a financial point of view.
So, how can you save money when money is tight in the first place? In this collaborative post here are 6 savvy ways – including not being afraid to haggle when it comes to household suppliers!
6 savvy ways to save money when money is tight
1. Prepare for the worst
If you’re a homeowner, then you already know how expensive unexpected repairs can be. One of the best investments you can make is to take out home emergency cover. Companies like Certi, for example, offer all sorts of emergency cover plans that have basic boiler cover as part of the package. Certi’s plans will cover things like boiler breakdown and central heating all the way up to home security and pest control on their premium plans. There’s also a 24-hour helpline in case of emergency.
2. Make sure you’re claiming all the benefits you’re entitled to
There are many benefits out there available to parents, and you should always check if you’re eligible. Some of them include jobseeker’s allowance, housing benefit, childcare vouchers, and various other tax credits. Getting these benefits could make a significant difference to your monthly budget. If you want to make sense of it all but don’t know where to start, Citizens Advice can help.
3. Switch or negotiate with household suppliers
Many people aren’t aware that they can haggle down prices with their suppliers. If you’ve been with the same supplier for a while, and threaten to leave, you’ll often find that they’ll suddenly trip over themselves to keep your custom. Suppliers work very hard on maintaining their customers, and if you let them know that you’re willing to take your business elsewhere, they might offer you a better deal. Shopping around is always a better option anyway, so don’t get stuck with one supplier out of familiarity. It’s also worth looking at suppliers that will allow you to bundle services together to see if you can make additional savings.
4. Ask for a pay rise
Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal British workers are getting their biggest pay rise in more than a decade as wage growth speeds up to 3.2%. So if you haven’t had a pay rise in a while, ask!
5. Make the most of cashback sites
There are a wide number of retailers that will offer cashback deals when you buy online through certain sites. Sites like TopCashBack and Quidco offer all sorts of vouchers and cashback deals from a variety of suppliers. Argos, for example, could have a 3% cashback deal if you buy online. All you have to do is follow the link on one of these sites and you’ll be able to get the cashback. No matter what you’re buying, it’s always better to look for offers online first.
6. Trim your outgoings
If you want to trim the fat, one of the best things you can do is cut your spending. If your children love pizza, then invest in a nice pizza stone and learn how to cook it at home. Eating out should be viewed as a luxury, and you might not eat out again once you realise how much you’re paying over the odds after making it at home. Also, evaluate what other things you’re splurging on that are more of a luxury than a necessity. Do you really need that gym membership? Or a premium TV package? If the answer is no, cutting these out will eventually add up and allow you more room to breathe at the end of the month.
This is a collaborative post.