Whether you want to go abroad, have a staycation or go camping, budgeting for it is essential. This year the kids and I plan on buying a tent and camping in the UK. We have family to visit that are all in different areas of the country. I used to go camping regularly as a child but my dislike of tiny creatures meant it never appealed to me as an adult. Now I have had a long think about this and how silly it is. The kids would really love a camping trip. Especially my oldest as he really loves the outdoors. He also knows a lot more tricks about camping than I do. He is really excited about our summer trip this year.
I have been thinking about budgeting for our trip and here is what I have come up with.
Find things you can save money on
As a larger family we don’t always get to go away on holiday every year. So I have been looking at ways to budget well enough to be able to take the kids away this year. I started by looking at how much money I spend on the weekly food shop.
Buy budget Brands –
I went from buying the more luxury range this week to buying the supermarkets cheapest own brand for many products. I still bought the healthy fruit and veg and have thought carefully about meals. I spent less than half the money I normally would and the food tastes absolutely fine so far. It also makes me wonder why I haven’t been doing this longer.
Spare Cash –
I don’t often carry cash but recently I have been taking money out of the bank and just using what I have. Put any spare to one side and save it. Its surprising how quickly this can help you save.
Take away meals –
Instead of having a weekly take away, have a make your own pizza night. Make wraps and have a selection of fillings that everyone can choose and make their own. My kids love these activities and even though it might make a mess, they really enjoy it. Depending on the size of your family this could save you £30 a week.
Social Life –
You don’t have to stop socialising. Have friends around for drinks instead of going out. Play board games and you will see that it can be more fun than going to the pub.
Do you really need to drive everywhere? We all get lazy from time to time but if a shorter journey is walkable then its better for your health and your wallet to walk or cycle. Car share with work friends and instead of using taxi’s use a bus or train.
When making purchases, always look for discount vouchers. There are some amazing deals to be had. Even if it means spending a little longer on the computer before you make your purchase. There are many comparison sites and voucher code sites like Discountrue that have a wealth of offers for such stores as Neiman Marcus.
Do you really need a whole new wardrobe of clothes to go on holiday? We all have some summer clothes. Most of us probably take too much when we go away somewhere. Think about spending habits and if you really need to buy something. Make do with what you have if possible.
Declutter and sell
I have got into the habit of bagging up what we don’t need and giving it to charity. Sort your cupboards out and sell some things you don’t need or use anymore. It may take more time and effort to do so but one man’s junk is another mans treasure. I am certainly going to stop being lazy and get selling.
Consider alternative ways to get away. Do some research. There are many sites which facilitate families swapping homes for the duration of their holidays. This is a great way to save money and something different from a regular get away.
Do you really need it?
Think of something in your life that you don’t really need. Do you have a magazine subscription? Or do you spend money in coffee shops everyday? Do you buy your lunch rather than making it? If you think really hard about your daily habits then I am sure you will think of another way to save money.
Remember this – Very little is needed to make a happy life