Updated on April 18, 2018, with additional content.
When Daddy Shutterbug and I had our first child twelve years ago, we felt financially unprepared. I relocated to the city and he asked me to stay at home for a while so we had to rely on his salary. He had to do some side hustles to earn quick bucks.
A few days after Ms. Bookworm’s second birthday, I had this feeling that I might be pregnant. We were on our beach holiday at that time so I took a pregnancy test when we got back to the city. Yup, it was positive! But, hubby’s already working as an expat in the United Arab Emirates and I was hustling as an online entrepreneur at that time so money wasn’t too tight.
We had Gentle Panda when the whole family was already in Qatar. We were not swimming in cash, were still on a budget but having a third child won’t break the bank.
If you are a parent (even if not!), your primary financial goal should be to save money. It is definitely not easy but definitely doable.
Related topic: Who Am I?
Here, I wrote down 18 specific and realistic ways that parents can save money in 2018:
1. Write down your daily expenses for 3 months. Get rid of unnecessary expenses. Small holes can sink a big boat.
2. Make a monthly budget. There are many methods that you can use: envelope, reverse, percentage. And, stick to it!
3. Open a separate bank account. One to for grocery and other bills; another for fun and travel. I have a friend who has 6 bank accounts, one account per big ticket expense.
4. Automate your savings. Transfer a fixed amount monthly from your savings account to your stock or mutual fund investment account/s or life insurance premium. I had set up one account for my real estate dues and another for my life insurance quarterly payments.
5. Use your bank’s online banking. You can save time and gas when paying your utility bills. Isn’t it bliss to take care of your adult responsibilities while sipping coffee?
6. Buy a term life insurance. You may get a life insurance with vul (variable universal life insurance) or other types once you have more budget. Hubby and I both have insurance with investments.
8. Inform your spouse/ kids that you plan to start saving money. Everyone in the family should be on board. The family should work as a team, right?
9. Always use a list. Grocery, travel, Christmas list etc. Isn’t it obvious that I love making lists? 🙂
Related Post: What is My Favorite Lists?
10. Shop after the holidays. Buy your 2018 birthday and Christmas gifts during January 2018 mall sales. A family friend of ours purchases their decorations right after the holidays.
11. Always pay in cash. Cash is king. Paying in cash can also get you discounts!
12. However, use a credit card if it comes with travel rewards or rebates. Be vigilant in paying on time. Hubby was able to get a couple of gadgets from his card rewards.
13. Cook at home and bring packed lunch to the office or school. You may treat yourself by eating out once or twice a week. Don’t forget to use glass containers that you can reheat!
14. Eat healthy food. Do not drink soda or eat junk food. This will save both your health and wealth.
15. Buy a used car. A two-year-old car may have depreciated in price by 25% but it is still in good condition. We’ve had 3 vehicles in Qatar and all were bought used.
16. Buy a car insurance. Shop around for the plan that offers the best value for your needs. Get the comprehensive coverage especially if you’re not confident of your driving skills.
17. Turn off electronics when not in use. Pull the plug off the socket when not in use. This will also avoid tripping accidents.
18. Use reusable batteries. They cost more to buy, but you save money and Mother Earth in the long run. Who doesn’t use rechargeable batteries yet?
Do you feel motivated enough to do at least two of the above-mentioned ways to save money in 2018? Do you think this article might help you save money in 2018? I would appreciate a comment or two. If you know people who can benefit from My Favorite Lists, please use the social icons to share!
Have a prosperous 2018!