But mothers have a track record of being wise and reliable chief financial officers. That is not to say that you will not encounter opposition, either from your husband or kids, should you impose a spending limit. Or that things will always go according to plan.
As a strategy, you should mix and match elements before getting your groove. Here are 8 examples to get you started.
Do not deviate from the shopping list
The Mirror featured the story of Danielle Ross, who calls herself savings queen. She spends £38 a week for a family of 5 plus a pooch. Her top tips include never straying away from the grocery list. Otherwise, the monthly budget can blow up to around £600. Ross is very economical at the supermarket. Still, she makes sure to prepare only healthy meals at home.
Stock up on pantry essentials
Easily, a large slice of your budget can go to food and beverages. So, you should reinforce the “stick to the shopping list” rule. One way to do it is to keep a well-stocked pantry. Invest in items that have long shelf lives. It prevents you from calling your husband to make one-off buys at the convenience store, which can be counterproductive when done regularly. Also, it is more fun to cook when the ingredients are complete and within your reach.
Try cashback apps
These days, you can get paid for buying goods and services. Through the concept of cashback, consumers can earn a portion of what they shell out on an item. It is another smart way for mums to keep to their budget while making bulk purchases. Plan your shop based on where you can find the cheapest deals, from food to travel to utilities. Do not forget to collect all those receipts, snap a shot of each, and then upload the images on the cashback app of your choice.
Be decisive about those hand-me-downs
As your children grow, discarded clothes and toys can pile up fast in the spare room. But you can be strategic about it if you are raising more than one tot. You can store outfits and playthings still in good condition until the next sibling can use them. Or you can try KonMari, a decluttering method popularised by Japanese consultant and author Marie Kondo. Grab any of the items in your pile and assess it: does it still bring joy to your household? If the answer is no, it is time to let it go.
Run an energy-efficient household
Picking appliances wisely is a start. Check out the energy rating of each product. Those given A+ and A are considered the best. However, the annual cost to run an appliance depends on its size. So consider both rating and size when you choose. Further, do not leave your devices on standby. Broadband routers, broadband modems, and digi-boxes still consume low levels of electricity on standby mode.
Impose a once-a-year ban on buying big-ticket items
Do not buy anything new for a month or longer. There are some considerations to factor in such as the kind of lifestyle you are coming from and want to achieve. Curbing the compulsion to replace a broken appliance, upgrade an iPhone, or get another car may be challenging at first. But it can be good for your psyche, as you also do not have to worry about maintenance and additional costs.
Start Your Own Business
It is a common misconception that full-time mums cannot stand on their own financially. But in this day and age, it is possible for women like you to figure out how to earn money from home through freelancing or running a small online store. You can even open a dropshipping business to eliminate big risks such as dealing with merchandise. There are opportunities out there if you just keep looking and believe in your abilities.
Train your kids to save up
Lastly, it is never too early to teach your kids to have a proper relationship with money and material things. Open a bank account for them once they are old enough to own one. Sure, you will provide them with what they need. But you need to train them to save up for stuff that they want.