Posted by Andy as Family finance
In these harsh financial times where high-street shops are failing left right and centre, we are all trying to save money, but at the same time we still want to enjoy our free time with our family and friends. We need to know our limits in terms of spending so what can we do that is still fun for the whole family on a budget?
Go to the cinema: This is an old classic that we don’t do enough of! Going to the cinema doesn’t have to be expensive. If you have small children they often get entrance at a reduced rate and many cinemas across the UK have cheaper days. Furthermore some mobile phone networks will offer you discount such as Orange Wednesdays however be sure to check you are on the right tariff before just assuming you are. Just remember to sneak your snacks in from outside as they can be quite expensive if you get to the
Sightseeing: Although this is not always going to be the kids favourite choice it is good to get them out of the house and away from the PlayStation every once in a while. Although you m ay have to spend some money on petrol, you can go round museums, which are often free or have a low cost associated with them.
Seaside: If you live within driving distance to the seaside you can always go there for a day out (weather permitting). This is definitely a family favourite and the best of all is that you don’t have to buy anything. You have all the towels buckets and spades in your house already, and even if it’s not summer weather you can still have a pick nick and watch the waves crash up against the beach. This post was written by Kevin from financialupdate.org.uk. Here we specialise in all finance matters, ranging from small personal finance matters all the way up to large newsworthy items that change the way we think about money.
It can be difficult to figure out just how to start saving money. This is why you should start here by reading this article. Gain control of your personal finances through the information presented in this piece!
The first thing you’ll want to do when you wish to start saving money is to open a savings account. Whenever you make any kind of money put a little bit of it in this account. Make sure that you don’t touch this money for a while, and it will continue to stack up.
Your grocery bill is something that you can really save a lot on if you think ahead. Coupons are one way, and nowadays you can find them online and print them out. Of course, there are still the coupons in the paper and in magazines and things. Make sure you read the fine print carefully and know the store’s policy so you don’t end up having to put things back.
When you’re buying food, remember to only get what you need. They strategically place little items in the store to try and entice you. Unneeded magazines and candies at the checkout stand aren’t important if you’re really trying to save some cash.
Cutting back on electricity is a great way to save a little bit of money every month. It’s much cheaper to run a fan in the summer than your air conditioner. Getting newer windows may be a good investment as well. When things are plugged in, they tend to use electricity when you’re not using them, so be sure you unplug anything you are not using.
Try walking, riding a bike or taking public transportation when you need to go somewhere. Gas these days costs a lot of money, as well as keeping up a vehicle. This is a good way to be healthy, and keep a little money in your pocket at the same time. Carpooling with a few of your coworkers and switching who drives their car is another great idea to think about.
So, now that this article has taught you some money saving tips you should be ready to start saving. It always feels nice to have a little bit of money saved back for emergencies or something nice. Apply this article to your personal finances, and you’ll see your money pile up!
This post is a guest post by the good people at Complete Personal Finance – If you like what you read you should head over there and check out some of their other great content, its building up quite the following!
There are some pearls of wisdom that are inserted into the wrong time and place and thereby become meaningless nonsense.
A case in point – I enjoy a game of badminton and, although I have never achieved ‘club standard’, I am quite good. On one occasion I played with someone of a similar standard and was comprehensively thrashed. Why? Well, I didn’t have my racquet with me and had to rely on one provided by the Leisure Centre. Unfortunately the supplied racquet was of a very poor standard and the strings were very loosely strung. As a consequence, it was impossible to hit the shuttlecock from one end of the court to the other. When I pointed out to someone watching why I was being beaten so soundly, I was confronted with the frustratingly inappropriately used wisdom, ‘A bad workman blames his tools’. Grrrr.
And so we come to ‘Time is Money’. I don’t have a problem with this saying when it is used correctly but it seems to have been appropriated by the incredibly lazy to justify their behaviour. You see, when money has been tight (and it usually is), I don’t simply shop at one supermarket but browse all of them picking up the best bargains for the food that we use and also visit the market for cheaper fruit and veg. I am not suggesting that everyone should do this but I do get annoyed when I am told that I am wrong with the explanation that ‘Time is Money’ and so I should get it done as quickly as possible. Grrrr. All well and good if I were to spend the extra hour earning money, but I wouldn’t.
However, ‘Time is Money’ is a useful concept to apply from time to time in our personal finances. It is worth conducting a financial health check from time to time. Considerable money can be saved or earned by doing a few simple things from time to time. Many financial institutions offer attractive interest rates to grab our business but are less keen to continue those rates once we have become a customer. It is worth looking around for a new bank or a new account with our existing bank once the initial rates have fallen. Don’t automatically renew your home and car insurance policies with the same provider but shop around for the best deal. Energy suppliers offer different deals at different times and so it is worth checking that our existing deal is the best around and, if appropriate, change supplier. Check to make sure that the mobile and/or phone tariff is the best for your current usage. These examples demonstrate that the ‘Time is Money’ pearl of wisdom does have it’s time and place in each of our lives.
Holidays can be stressful enough, without trying to navigate the complicated public transport systems. It opens up your whole travelling experience, so you’re not limited to what is in walking distance of the hotel. It even means you don’t have to book up expensive accommodation, and can travel from campsite to campsite, pitching tents, and seeing what the country has to offer.
If the great outdoors isn’t really your thing, then car hire empowers you to hop from one luxurious hotel to the next, and experience the sights across the country. Renting or purchasing a satnav beforehand ensures that you always get where you want to be, so it’s advisable to arrange that in advance.
Combining a villa house with car hire ensures you get the best of both worlds: a secluded and idyllic living space within a driving distance from hot tourist attractions.
You don’t want to be waiting around at bus stops your entire holiday. Public transport is difficult enough to navigate at home, let alone in a foreign country, if you don’t speak the language. Renting a car gets rid of those moments that ruin a holiday for the family – the stressful organisation of getting from A to B. Children aren’t known for their patience.
Especially if you are travelling with kids, you want to ensure that everyone is safe. As a tourist, you won’t know which areas to avoid, and can get yourself in all kinds of trouble. Waiting for taxis late at night can be particularly detrimental to the safety of your loved ones. A rental car keeps you sound and safe, with no problems.
You may think car rental is expensive, but if you start to add up all the public transport or taxi fees, you’ll soon wonder why you didn’t just rent a car to begin with. There are fantastic deals available, if you browse smartly.
The best way to see the scenery is from the seat of your own car. You can travel far from the beaten track and discover secluded spots which you wouldn’t otherwise see on a set holiday route. Away from the tourist stream, you can sample untouched local culture and beautiful, historical sites.
With ample leg room and comfy seats, you avoid the discomfort of public transport. The isolation of a car also means you can have inhibited conversation with your family, without worrying that you are drawing attention to yourself. Plus, the air-con is only a switch away.
You’re not limited to a certain vehicle. You can choose whichever car you like – whatever suits your travels best. Luxury, comfort, style: all at your fingertips. And your car will be waiting for you at the airport, so you can start driving straight away.
There is far too much to see, and you can see it whenever you like. With a rental car, you decide your schedule by your agenda, not by the railway timetable. You’re free to take off into the sunset whenever you please.
This guest post has been written and contributed on behalf of price comparison site SO Switch.