OH my stars, family savings, why is money such a difficult thing in life? I mean you need it right? You work hard for it, you spend it, you covet it, and repeat. Girl, this stuff has to stop. I mean how can we survive if we don't get a handle on it all and rule it, instead of it ruling us. So I have been on a journey to financial freedom by creating a family savings plan, along with my family budget plan and my rock solid New Year's Resolutions! It's going to be a stellar year. Wanna join me?
Why I am here and who I am:
Hey mama, I am Trish— AKA Labor Nurse Mama. I am a labor and delivery nurse with over 15 years of high-risk OB experience. I am also a mama to 7 kids and have given birth to 6. This means I am quite familiar with the postpartum period and how to navigate it. I am the online birth class educator for Calm Labor Confident Birth and The VBAC Lab birth classes and the mama expert inside our Calm Mama Society, a pregnancy & postpartum membership community! I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey! You can find me over on IG teaching over 230k mamas daily. I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey!
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What are your family savings goals?
You have to set goals for your family savings plan to succeed!
These goals need to be ones that you won't stray from. You will not stay true to your family savings plan if you don't have a purpose for the money. Think about it for a minute. You are saving $100 a week for your family savings plan. Currently, you have saved $600 and are feeling pretty darn good about your accomplishment. On a weekly shopping trip you walk into Target, and you see that their clothes are all on clearance and also buy one get one free. What do you do? You think, dang, I have $600 saved, I can get some clothes: Bam, $200 spent. The second scenario, You set a goal to save $4000 for a cruise with your mother, sisters, and daughter. Your savings account is growing and you have $600 saved. On a Target run (sorry Target but you are the thorns in my budgeting side) you see that the InstantPot you've been dying to have is on sale at 35% off. Sad but resigned, you choose to leave Target empty-handed and your family savings goal is intact. Why did the second scenario play out better? Because you have a clear picture of what the purpose of your savings amount will be used. There is a goal. Our goal is saving for a new house. We are completely dedicated to this family savings goal of ours. I've been scouring the internet, ok, mostly Pinterest, to find tips and ideas for how best to save on monthly expenses to help grow our savings account. (Check out what Dian over at Grocery Shop for Free suggested as tips for saving a downpayment for a home.)
Take a Budgeting Class or Research Budgeting
Starting a family budget is most likely the most valuable thing you can do for your family savings plan. Without a budget, you will struggle to successfully save money. It doesn't have to be perfect, but you should have some basic knowledge of budgeting. Mike and I have been doing some serious research. We both like Dave Ramsey and think this is the online class we most likely will do together. But my researching hasn't stopped there. I have also found many amazing blogs that focus on finances and budgeting. You can check those out and find one that works for you and your home savings and budget plan.
Create & Start Your Budget
If you merely research and create a budget, it won't work. Obvious right? Yep, but many people create a family savings plan and budget, only to never actually implement it. START YOUR BUDGET! Don't delay!
Stellar Ways to Save Money
Ask for Discounts
It may seem scary for you, but sister it can't hurt. If you get a no, it's ok. You are still where you were before you asked. No loss! For instance, I called my insurance agent last week to ask for possible discounts on our Auto and House insurance. She researched and found us a better company that would save us money. We ended up saving a substantial amount of money by switching and bundling our insurance packages. I called Verizon yesterday, and they offer several savings deals, such as Military, First Responders, and more. We went paperless and also chose to auto pay. Both choices saved us around 25 a month.
Once a year contact your cell phone provider, cable provider, internet provider and ask for the best available price. Many times, better rates are available if you just ask. Rachel – Smart Mom Smart Ideas
Many companies offer discounts for choosing to go paperless and receive all notifications electronically. Just like Verizon, customers can save by paying through an auto payment option.
Save on Your Utilities
Call your utility providers and ask for ways you can save or cut back on usage. Turn off lights, Hang Dry laundry, cut back on long hot showers, and more. Some of the resources I've found are below. Did you know that your shower head could be costing you more money on your water bill, but according to this post on ways to save money on your energy bill, it's true? Or did you know that switching your thermostat could also save you money? I was also surprised by the tip in this post: Money Saving Must-Haves in which she shares the savings of using a smart power strip. Another suggestion that I read repeatedly was to find a more budget-friendly cellular plan. Our family uses Verizon, and our bill is CRAZY high. We have five smartphones all with unlimited everything. I am super tempted to look into other providers such as Ting, who this chick recommends. Her bill for four smartphones is less than $80 a month? WHAT?
Cut Costs on Groceries
Learn to Budget Groceries I have to say that in the past, cutting grocery costs is one of the most effective ways we found to allocate more funds to our family budget plan. A few years ago, Mike made a HUGE decision to quit his career and to take a job at our church. Our monthly income went from about 8-9k to less than 2k, for a family of 9. We also went to a monthly paycheck which was a real pain in the arse. This overspending, no budgeting, impulse buying mother of seven was forced to learn how to budget in a crash course. (Thankfully, despite a difficult season, Mike ended up back at his previous job and earning a decent income.) This is a long story full of pain, but God is faithful, even when Men are not!
Money Saving Apps
I took advantage of many money saving apps when Mike took his lower paying job. I used coupons like a FOOL! Gosh, that was exhausting. However, it was a quite challenging and a tiny bit fun. I utilized apps like Ibotta, E-Bates (which I have rediscovered and made $19 right off the bat) and recently I discovered Honey app which I LOVE! My new favorite money-saving find for our family savings plan is the five dollar meal plan (which you can try for free). Meal planning is a huge money saver. No more last minute meal decisions around my house. Aldi became my lifeline to decent low-cost meals. I created a monthly grocery shopping list, which is a sure fire way to help your family savings plan. Next, I planned out 30 days of meals. I would purposely make 6 meals that would feed us for two nights in a row. (sometimes including lunches) and I would print a monthly meal list and then our weekly meal plan. One way I found to save on our groceries was to stop buying cereal for breakfast. This was one of the most significant weekly grocery savings we experienced as a large family (9 counting my father). At the time, we were going through 13-14 boxes of cereal and 9 gallons of milk a WEEK. We switched to homemade oatmeal and eggs and toast for most mornings. 13-14 boxes of cereal cost approximately 50 ish a week (with coupons around 30-35). Milk cost around 2.5 a gallon times 9 gallons. That's about 22-25 weekly in milk. 1 large oatmeal tub costs around $2.50 dollar, Brown sugar runs about $2.50 and less for a pound. A jar of peanut butter anywhere from 3-5 (think Aldi). Oatmeal: cost per serving is around eight cents. Peanut Butter cost per serving: ten – twenty cents per serving. Brown Sugar: one to two cents per serving. You can see the difference is HUGE! I will mention that no one was happy about the change but soon got used to it anyway.
Quality groceries on a Budget
Are you like me and find that the healthier you eat the more money you spend? I was thrilled to discover these tips on eating healthy for cheap and how to Save Money on Organic Groceries.
No more Convenience
Alright, this one is going to be hard for you and probably for me, but we have to buy fewer convenience foods. What do I mean? Blocks of cheese instead of shredded, and whole vegetables instead of cut. You can read some more great suggestions on convenience foods and other ways to cut your grocery bill on Joyfully Thriving. Her post and another one I found shared many helpful tips on cutting grocery bills without coupons.
Cut out the Frivolous spending
One sure fire way to increase the odds of a successful family savings plan is to stop the small purchases that are unnecessary.
- ready-made foods (like frozen dinners)
- fast food
- Going to the movies (Netflix or Redbox instead)
- Make foods from scratch instead of packaged
- Take your lunch to work!
- Spread out visits to the hairdresser as far as possible.
Straight Up Money Saving Tips
I truly suck at being frugal (in some areas) and we all know I am a serial spender. But I must STOP. My savings plan won’t work if I don’t put into practice some of the valuable tips I’ve found!! The following are some of the resources I've found to help me learn how to become a saver more than a spender. Here's what I found:
- Patience. Sarah over at IHeartFrugal emphasizes being patient when it comes to making a purchase. Check out her 75 frugal living tips.
- Stop taking out loans and opening credit cards. This was a stellar tip suggested in this post about ways to save money as a single mom (applies to us all)
- How about auditing your bills for inaccuracies? (6 Simple Ways to Save Money)
- Stock up on items when they go on sale. This post about living on one income, mentions that stores “usually” have a 2-month rotation for sales, so buy enough packaged goods until it goes on sale again.
- Check out this list of a TON of money-saving tips. I couldn't pick just one.
- Save a fixed amount each week. Possibly even have the amount deducted automatically from your paycheck and put into an individual account.
- If you are in the diaper buying stage AND PRAISE JESUS, I am not. Then check out these diaper saving tips.
- How about some ways to cut cost on health care?
- Saving Money on Gas is always a plus, especially if you have a long commute.
- Sara over at Frozen Pennies suggests haggling for everyday items. Read her awesome suggestions!
Back to the Goal
I want you to decide your goal. It might be large, like a downpayment for a home, or small like a weekend get away. Just decide! I am including a sheet for you to print (large for house and small for car) Write your family savings goal in B I G L E T T E R S your personal goal. Print several, write you savings goal, or paste a picture of the goal and the. place them all over the house and car! By visualizing it, the goal will be forefront in your mind I hope you find some tips valuable to your family. Comment and give me tips you may have, I am open for more. Let's complete this savings journey together!