Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving. – Warren Buffett
I would say saving and budgeting are the most challenging part of being a mom right? When I had my child, it’s like a reset button from all the things I’ve been doing and just like that, the materialistic part of me burned up and I gone back to square one.
Back then, I used to save a little and spend most of my money to things I love coz I believed that’s how you should enjoy life. You shouldn’t be always working and should treat yourself once in a while, a “work and life balance” most people would say. I settled into the life I had because everything seems fine like I am not struggling , I had a little savings and can afford things I want. Then there comes the baby. Having a baby is so demanding and a game changer. I told myself that I should have a plan before getting broke. I should have planned before giving birth but its not too late isn’t it? So I started searching for tips and joined social media groups exclusive for moms. I didn’t know that there are overwhelming ideas shared in different groups which are very economical and essential to new mothers like me.
In this blog, I will share 6 most useful tips and saving hacks I learned from various social groups I joined to help mommies so here we go.
1. USE MONEY ENVELOPE TO BUDGET.
This method has been very useful to me. One of the reasons we overspend is because there’s nothing telling us when to stop. That’s where the envelope system comes in, it is the perfect tool to stick in your budget.
How it works: Categorize your budget like groceries, health, savings, allowance and monthly bills then divide your cash according to your budget.
2. TRACK YOUR EXPENSES.
It is important how you track your expenses to help you identify your spending issues. At least, if your husband would ask where the money went you have a proper documentation (kidding). Some mommies use the traditional type where they have a notebook and list down the expenses from time-to-time. In my case, I am using the digital one which I downloaded from Google Apps Store.
How it works: Just download the app and register. Most of them has a free account. The good thing about expense tracker apps is that you can generate a PDF file whether weekly or monthly depending on your preferences. In this way, you can have a neat and well-organized monitoring of your expenses.
3. HAVE A WEEKLY OR MONTHLY MEAL PLAN.
Meal planning can be a lot to do but you should not skip it. Believe me , it will reduce your stress of thinking what will be the next meal deal and most especially, the sole reason is, it is vital to watch your family’s nutrient intake.
How it works: Make a meal plan based on your budget. You can customize a meal plan in different sites. I would recommend this site as it is the most user-friendly in making one: https://www.canva.com/search/templates?q=meal%20plan . Or;
You may download a ready-made plan . You can search it from google or download from here: http://happypinaymommy.com . This site also offers lots of mommy advice.
This is an example how mommies nowadays do their market duties and grocery shopping. They will set a weekly budget of Php. 1,500.00 for 2 adult and 1 kid and do a one-time shopping. With this, they save more money buying bulk items and cut the cost of transportation.
4. CHECK OUT ON-SALE OR DISCOUNTED ITEMS.
I always check out on-sale and discounted items simply because I save a lot for doing so. For me, my child consumes milk like no other child can so I always watch it out for Flash Sales in an online shopping store. I also have observed that they do flash sales for big discounts every month or like every other month.
Tips * Check first the credibility of the store on its reviews.
How it works: Check out once in a while those famous online shopping store like Shopee and Lazada. Like the store you prefer or kindly put the item you want in your cart so you will be notified when it is on-sale.
5. DIY CRAFTS WILL DO.
Do-It-Yourself craft has its place for everything and once again, will cut your expenses whether photo backdrops in your baby’s milestones , birthday decorations and school projects. Doing DIY crafts with your child may even be able to charge for your child’s new skill.
Like on my son’s 3rd birthday, we decided to skip the usual gatherings to cut expenses and save for his schooling instead. We just had eaten in a restaurant but I still wanted to have a cute photo of him for his birthday. So we did a DIY backdrop at home which he enjoyed a lot and spent only few hundreds.
6. GET YOUR CHILD A SAVING’S ACCOUNT.
The benefit of having your child a saving’s account is to teach them on how to save as they grow up and be financially aware. Secondly, Saving’s accounts come also with insurance packages like accident insurance and offers a higher interest rate. I applied for my son’s saving account when he turned one year old because I don’t want to spend money given to him as gifts so he can use it later on for important matters.
How it works: Select on which bank you would like to save your child’s money. The bank will ask for requirements like Birth Certificates and school IDs then you may now apply for his/her saving’s account.
This site compares the saving’s accounts offered by different banks : https://www.moneymax.ph/personal-finance/articles/best-savings-accounts-kids
That’s it. I hope you guys learned from this and have your plan as well. See you on my next blog!
By Sarah Jane Cruz