Nine Ways for a Family to Save Money

Updated on December 26, 2017
Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul was born and grew up in Wisconsin. He is married to a Thai and living in Thailand. He has Swiss, German, and Austrian ancestry.

Balancing a Household Budget

If a family cannot balance its monthly budget, it will be necessary to cut household expenses or to increase sources of income.

Increasing sources of income will involve either the husband or wife taking on another job. This will be very difficult and costly when the family has small children that demand constant care. Accepting the second job will also mean less time with a spouse and children.

I would strongly suggest reducing household expenses so that the monthly budget can be balanced. Based on my lifetime experiences, I present in this hub nine ways for a family to save money.

1. Do It Yourself

Source

My father always preached that if you want a job done right, you will do it yourself. You will also be saving a lot of money using your own labor in accomplishing household repairs and maintenance. Plumbers, painters, and yard workers, for example, can do your work, but you will be paying them at least hundreds of dollars to complete the job.

When I started working for the government many years ago, I couldn't afford to call people for household repairs and maintenance. With the aid of my wife and son, I quickly learned how to do things by myself. This included painting and wallpapering the interior of the house and painting the exterior. I learned how to replace broken window panes and do minor plumbing repairs in the bathroom. Before the start of every heating season, I would also clean my gas furnace burners. When the wind blew some of the aluminum sidings off the side of my house, I got up on a ladder and nailed the siding back on. I even remember hanging a new front door storm door with my son. My son and I would cut the grass and also wash and wax our two cars. My dad also taught me how to change car motor oil which I regularly did for many years.

2. Shopping at Discount and Thrift Stores

Source

The average family can not afford designer jeans and other name brand clothing for their children. In saving money on clothing and accessories, I would suggest shopping at discount and/or thrift stores. My parents introduced me to discount stores when they took me to a discount clothing store for the beginning of the school year shopping. There I was able to get clothes at 50-70% off the price in regular stores.

In the 80s while living in Maryland, I remember shopping with my wife at K-Mart and other discount stores. Occasionally we would also find good deals on jackets, pants, and shirts at thrift stores such as the Salvation Army and Goodwill Store.

I also remember shopping at discount supermarkets in Maryland. In one of these supermarkets, Box and Save, we could buy discounted food and save even more by providing our own bags and boxes and packaging our purchased goods.

3. Couponing

Source

When living in Maryland, I always looked forward to getting the Sunday paper. Although I did enjoy reading the sports and travel sections, I especially liked going through all of the manufacturers' promotion coupons which were included in the paper. Some of these coupons offered $1.00 off a tube of toothpaste or $0.50 off a loaf of bread. I would religiously clip and save all of the money-saving coupons for the next trip to the supermarket. It wasn't unusual for me to cut my store bill by $10-20.

4. Eliminate Junk Food, Soda, Beer, and Cigarettes

Source

It's amazing how much you can spend when including junk food, soda, beer, and cigarettes on your shopping list. After I quit smoking and drinking beer in 1995, I was able to save $160.00 a month in addition to the benefit of improving my health. If adults drink and smoke in the house, they are setting a very bad example for their kids and endangering them with second-hand smoke.

Junk food and soda would also be good things to remove from a shopping list. Junk food like potato chips, french fries, and cheese puffs will only make you fat and add excess sodium to a diet. The acid and sugar in soft drinks like Coke and Pepsi will also hurt your stomach, cause weight gain, and lead to diabetes.

5. Reduce Frequency of Eating Out

Source

A family can save a lot of money by eating most meals at home and reducing the frequency of eating out at restaurants. At most restaurants like Applebees and The Olive Garden, you need to spend $15-20 for a dinner. This will quickly add up for a family of four. Even at MacDonalds, you are paying $5-10 for a meal.

6. Brownbag When Working

Brown bag
Brown bag | Source

For almost 30 years, I brown bagged almost every day when going to the office. By bringing my own lunch to work, I was able to save $20-25 a week on the cost of food in the employee cafeteria. I would usually prepare a meat or fish sandwich with lettuce, fruit, and sometimes a snack on the evening before for my brown bag the next day.

7. Carpooling

Source

Carpooling is an excellent way to save on transportation expenses to and from work. If at all possible, I would carpool with employees who lived in my neighborhood. Fortunately for three or four years, I was able to share the driving with a neighbor across the street and another employee who lived a quarter of a mile away. Each of us would take turns driving for a week. It was a great feeling being able to cut my travel expenses by more than a half.

8. Cut Down on Long Travel Vacations

Source

A one or two-week summer vacation is a nice family event, but it should be avoided if you can't balance your budget. The cost for motels, driving expenses, and meals will quickly add up if you are away on a long travel vacation. Instead, I would recommend shorter day trips within the area you live to reduce food and lodging costs.

9. Avoid Out-of-Home Entertainment

Source

A good home entertainment system consisting of a big screen TV, DVD player, stereo, and karaoke is a must for families. By having this, it really isn't necessary to go out to see movies or attend concerts. If you are taking the family out for recreation, I would suggest visiting a free public park and having a picnic. This would be a lot less expensive than paying for movie tickets and the accompanying popcorn and soda.

Summary

There are many ways for a family to save money while balancing a budget. Reducing food and clothing expenses as well as unnecessary junk food and entertainment will go a long way in helping a family save money.

Questions & Answers

    © 2016 Paul Richard Kuehn

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        12 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Thank you very much for commenting! I appreciate your comments!

      • lovetherain profile image

        lovetherain 

        12 months ago from Untited States

        Good ideas , I appreciate your post

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        23 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        I appreciate your comments, Meg, and do agree that line drying laundry is the best. This what my wife and I do.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        23 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Self sufficiency is very important for all, especially those who don't have much of an income. It's great to read that you and your husband are doing your own household and car repairs. Having your own garden also saves on the food bill.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        23 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Thank you very much for the comments, Josah. I am pleased that you like this hub.

      • DreamerMeg profile image

        DreamerMeg 

        23 months ago from Northern Ireland

        Hi @Jodah, we don't own one either, even in green Ireland! So it's line dry or hang over an airer if it's raining.

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        23 months ago from Queensland Australia

        I second that tip, Meg. We don't even own a tumble dryer.

      • DreamerMeg profile image

        DreamerMeg 

        23 months ago from Northern Ireland

        Good suggestions for saving money. I would add another, to line dry the laundry, instead of using a tumbler dryer. Great saving on electricity and the clothes are fresher.

      • Blond Logic profile image

        Mary Wickison 

        23 months ago from Brazil

        These are excellent suggestions. My husband has become very handy since we have moved to Brazil.

        Between the two of us, we do all the household repairs, almost all the car repairs, and gardening.

        I have become so frugal, I can squeeze a week's worth of dinners out of one chicken.

        I think it benefits everyone to pitch in and know they aren't reliant on others to survive.

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        23 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Great advice here, Paul. I already do most of these things to save money, so I endorse what you suggest.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, toughnickel.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://toughnickel.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)