Every mom is busy. It may seem that there are never enough hours in the day to tend to your children's needs and to run a household. You may be a mother who works outside of the home, or you may be a mom who remains home with your children throughout the day. No matter your situation, you have your hands full, and you look for ways to save money without causing you the extra hassle.
Expenses creep up everywhere. If you are like me, a working mother with a full-time job and two kids, you are probably battling bills for daycare or aftercare. All mothers are challenged by grocery and transportation expenses, as well. You may try to leave room in your budget for special family treats, but it isn't easy. Both single and married moms try to avoid wasteful spending and try to save whenever practical. Although it may seem impossible to stretch your dollars and to save some cash, certain tips will make it easier to keep some money in your bank account.
Since you are a busy mother, time is of the essence. It is vital to uncover ways to cut costs without taking up too much time. Learning ways to easily save money will alleviate stress in your life and will give your household a boost.
Here are six money-saving tips for moms that will help you save time and change your spending habits in the future.
1. Plan your meals to avoid the temptation of eating out
To save time and money, prepare your weekly meals on Sunday. But most importantly, make it a family activity. Let each family member get a vote on the type of dinner and assign tasks for the upcoming week.
Guess what? My husband and I have turned the weekly meals planning into a fun family activity. Our kids can help in their school lunch preparation. In return, they can pick their favorite snacks to accompany their lunch. Quite a win-win thing, right?
There is no defined routine meal planning process. It can be a personal thing because what works for you might not work for someone else. The trick is to find an enjoyable and effective method.
If you make it a fun and family process, you will get inspired, knowing you are cooking that meal everyone has contributed and likes. In no time, you will realize you are saving a great deal from such weekly meal planning.
Network with Other Parents and Carpool for Kids Activities
If you have kids in sports or school activities, you know that some days it can be a challenge to get them to practice on time. Chances are other parents in your community who are having the same issues, so reach out and get a carpool started. Apps like GoKid make organizing carpools very easy. With GoKid, parents can schedule and track rideshares for their kids to school, sports, and other activities.
Here is how it works:
- Set up your child's carpool schedule.
- Invite other families you know so they can join.
- Then each parent can volunteer to drive on days that work for them.
- You can then check where the pickups and dropoffs are, your days to drive, routes to and from, and more all within the app.
The basic GoKid app is free, but if you want advanced features like Car-Pool History, Google Calendar Integration, and in-app notes, its $49.99 a year.
Getting involved in a carpool can easily free up two or three evenings a week to allow you to focus on other tasks or get a workout or two in. Plus, again, you will save money on gas and wear and tear on your vehicle.
3. Order non-perishable goods in bulk online
You see, I always advocate for the act of cutting unnecessary costs. Buying non-perishable goods in bulk is cheaper than buying those packed in small quantities in the supermarket. Have you ever been given a discount for purchasing in bulk? Yes, that happens, and it's a great way to save money as a working mom.
You will also reduce the trips you make to the grocery store to replenish food items. Hence, saving on time and gas costs. Have you been purchasing packaged goods in small quantities? Well, It's time to order items such as napkins, paper towels, detergents, dried beans, rice, and other non-perishable goods in warehouses and Amazon.
If you want to save even more when buying in bulk, prepare a list; it helps you to buy only what you need. Don't buy in bulk things you don't regularly use to save on storage space. Preparing a list helps you stay organized and able to account for food wastage and look for ways to cut them. Become an aware shopper today and realize how much you will save in the long run.
4. Order kids clothes online
There is so much excitement and anticipation that surrounds the birth of a child, which makes shopping for the baby's clothes a delightful experience. However, you don't have to go to the store to purchase clothes for the baby. The solution? Shop online.
With so many businesses developing an online presence, it has become easier to shop online than ever. In fact, 76% of consumers in the US shop online. Guess why? Online shopping is more convenient, saves time, and reduces cost because some online stores deliver orders right to your doorstep if you are within their free delivery range.
You also have a great variety of clothes to choose from. Just browse through different stores checking at the price, quality, size, and compare them. Purchase them at a click of the button and have them delivered to your doorstep.
Would you want to check for reviews first? Some online stores, such as Amazon, allow customers to leave reviews. Check through these reviews before you add a baby cloth to the cart.
Ordering clothes online does not only save you time but also costs. Think about it; you will need to drive to the store, juggle for a parking space, and have limited choices since the store might not have all the clothes. As a working mom, browse the internet and shop for your baby's clothes to cut unnecessary costs and save time.
5. Use Cash Back Apps
Do you spend time tracking down discount codes? It seems everyone has moved past the sales and coupon things into cash back apps. I guess you would need first to understand how cashback apps work and how you can shop and save at the same time.
You see, these apps act as advertising platforms. Once you download any of the apps, you will need to create an account and shop from some retailers the app company has partnered with. Once you complete an offer, you will be given cash back or points to redeem for cash.
For example, Ibotta, pays you $10 once you claim your first offer, and you can earn more from welcome bonuses. I guess you wouldn't mind making money from the simple things you do every day like shopping for items online, do you? You have a lot to gain and less to lose.
Would you want to optimize your everyday spending as a working mom? Download some of these cash back apps and begin shopping and saving. Who knows, the accumulated cash on your account might help you to settle some small house bills.
6. Use credit card rewards
Instead of using credit cards that that just offer a flat 1% cashback or less, use credit cards that provide more substantial rewards for specific categories. Most of the major credit card companies like Discover, Chase, and even Sam's Club credit card offer rewards as high as 5% cash back for specific categories.
By choosing two or three credit cards that maximize rewards for different categories, you can make additional income for just using your credit cards.
Just like cash back apps, you have nothing to lose. Sometimes, these apps reward in the form of points or miles. Once the points have accumulated quite enough, you can redeem them for cash or gift cards, which can earn you a bang on your buck since some merchants give a 20% off the gift card price.
As a working mom, looking for ways to save money, credit card rewards serve well; spend, and save at the same time.
Both working and stay-at-home moms need to learn ways to make the most of their time and how to save money. Although bills tend to add up quickly, there are ways to incorporate some tips into your everyday lifestyle so that saving becomes a habit and not a chore.
With a bit of planning, you will be able to eat better at home and avoid the need to spend unnecessary cash on restaurant food each night. Also, carpooling can be a great way to save gas when you need to get your children to all of their activities.
Buying bulk items helps as well. Thanks to advancements in technology, you can take advantage of online deals and various apps that offer cash back for making purchases. Utilizing credit card rewards makes spending money seem a bit more fulfilling.
All of these money-saving tips for moms make it easier to balance your time and to keep some cash in your savings.