We all know how important it is to save for our children’s futures. While there are a number of options available to help you put money aside for them during their early years, the hard part is often finding the money to put in there. With everyone feeling the pinch at the moment, saving money has never seemed harder. Rising food and fuel costs have made the cost of living more expensive – so keeping a careful watch over household finances is a must in today’s climate.
If you feel as though your income isn’t going as far as it should, then you might consider adopting some simple practices to help you keep track of your outgoings. Here are some basic financial drills to help you maintain a firm grasp over your monthly expenditure, and free up some money to put towards your child’s future:
Keep Your Receipts
Many banks now offer an online statement service, making identifying card payments a simple affair – but it’s always easy to take money out at the cash point and forget what you spent it on. So, where possible, try to keep hold of your receipts to see where your cash is going, and how much you’re spending on what.
When collating all of your financial data at the end of each month, spreadsheets are ideal for calculating how much of your finances are going on specific things. If you notice that you’re spending an inordinate amount of money on a particular area, such as on food or on heating, then you can start to think of ways you might keep costs in this area down.
The best way to stop impulse buys is to draw up a shopping list before you go out. Decide what you need, write it down, and stick to it. If you see something which isn’t on your list on special offer, it can be tempting to pick it up and purchase it just because it seems like a good buy – but you should always remember, special offer or not, this is still an unnecessary and unplanned cost.
Set Yourself a Maximum Spend
If you’re planning a holiday, or if you’ve got a family birthday coming up, try not to get carried away – think about how much you can afford to spend beforehand and stick to it. Your children’s ISA will look better for it in the long run.
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Adam, the author of this article works for The Children’s ISA who offer great info when taking out ethical childrens ISA. In his free time, Adam loves to visit France to meet his family.