Planning ahead can save you money.
Do you often need to find money at the last minute? Never have enough money for birthdays presents or car repairs? Mean to save up but never do?
Here’s what we think you should consider doing.
Write a menu for the week, based on what’s in your cupboards and your family activities. This will dictate your grocer shopping list, so you only buy things you’ll eat this week, and won’t waste anything.
If you know your children are out on alternate Tuesdays, you’re late home on Thursdays, or they’re always extra hungry after baseball practice, then you can change your menu accordingly.
Planning ahead will help you save time and money.
62. Plan your meals in advance
Planning ahead when it comes to meals could mean that you don’t need to buy additional groceries during the week as you will use what you already have.
You won’t need to visit the local convenience store as often (if at all) and so won’t spend more money, or pay more for the items you could have got cheaper elsewhere.
Remember to use the fresh fruit and vegetables, and other things that go off, within a few of days of purchasing, so that they don’t go rotten and have to be thrown away.
Maybe you’ll get fresh vegetables a couple of times a week, to ensure that they’re always fresh.
Booking your travel in advance can often lead to significant savings.
Whether you’re travelling by plane or train, why not see how much you can save by planning ahead? The same goes for hotels and rental cars too.
Thinking about getting gas before the warning light comes on can mean that you can save money too.
Perhaps you can get a better deal on getting your car serviced if you book in advance of the busy times too.
If you have the time and inclination, you can find coupons in newspapers and online which will save you money on the products you already buy.
You might have to switch brands, or use a different supermarket, but you might find that the savings more than make up for it.
The thing to remember is that you shouldn’t spend extra in order to make a saving.
Buying additional items you don’t really want or need, or wouldn’t have ordinarily bought, is not exactly saving money!
65. Budget for birthdays and other events
Saving a few dollars a month for the kids’birthdays, seasonal holidays, vacations and other events can make these expensive times of year much easier.
The same goes for home maintenance and car repairs too.
If you know that your home will need some work on it, or that you will need to get the car repaired, and you don’t need to do it immediately, then saving for it will make it less difficult to pay for when the time comes.
You might want to set up separate savings accounts too, so you can quickly see how much you have, and how much you need.
66. Save for your vacation
Again, planning ahead and saving for your vacation in advance will make paying for it much easier, and put less of a strain on your finances when you come back.
If you know you won’t be able to afford the dream vacation you want, instead of paying for it on your credit card, why not see if you can find a cheaper vacation, go out of season, or put it off until you can afford it?
Maybe you could give your children a choice of 2 or 3 less expensive vacation idea and see which one they like the sound of best.
67. Known big expenses
If you know that you have a big expense coming up, you might be able to deal with it better by planning ahead and saving in advance.
Perhaps you already know your roof won’t last another winter, or your car has a rattle that needs fixing, or the kids need new bikes or computers. All in addition to birthdays and possibly a vacation.
You’ll be cross if you delay the work and it then takes longer and costs more to fix your home or roof when it finally stops working properly.
68. Keep an eye out for kid’s clothes the next size up
If your kids are constantly growing out of their clothes or toys, then planning ahead and keeping an eye out for the next size up or type of toys can save you money.
Remember the time of year though, if the next size up will fit your child in 6 months, there’s no point in buying bigger clothes for the current season.
If you know what brands fit your kids best, or which types of toys they like, then you can look online on auction sites for new and preowned clothes and toys, as well as for cheaper prices and sales.
This could potentially save you a fortune.
69. Buy clothes out of season
Buying your family’s summer clothes in winter, and vice versa, when they’re likely to be cheaper will save you money.
You and your children will be well prepared when the weather changes, possibly without needing to pay full price.
70. Check that things work
If you know you’re going to use your boat, or your heating soon, then why not check that everything still works?
If it does, all well and good, and if not, you can get it fixed well before you need it, and before prices potentially increase with seasonal demand.
Thinking in advance can save you money, whether you’re buying groceries, booking a vacation or looking for clothes for your kids.
We’ll be posting our next 10 money saving tips next month.