Frugal Living

Saving Money as a Large Family

During my last pregnancy I stopped working due to health issues related to the pregnancy.  The resulting impact to our finances was pretty significant.  We had been working towards me staying home full-time for some time, yet making that final step was truly a step of faith. I wasn’t sure that we could manage without my working, and it was a fearful time for me. 20131207-111243.jpg

At the time we were looking at caring for a family of 7.  It seemed quite daunting.  I had worked as a Respiratory Therapist for 18 years, and we had been very dependent upon my income.  My husband works in construction and as many of you have experienced the field of construction was hit hard by the recent recession. As you can guess looking for ways to save money was a big focus for me during this time.

While my husband was working hard and doing what he could to provide for our family, I wanted to look for more ways that we could cut the costs we had and save more money for our family. I found a few things that really has worked for us, and over time have really added up. Some of these tips are hard, and mean sacrifice, but it was really worth it for me and our family.
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Here are a few ways that we used to reduce expenses for our family.  I hope these ideas will help you look at your expenses a little differently.

  • To begin be sure you are tithing. I am not here to say how much you should tithe. The main point here is our heart attitude, we are merely stewards of the resources God has given us.

  • Learn to be content with less. Seek to be content wherever you are. 

  • Learn to do without some things. As  we have had to make cuts in our budget, I find there are things I might want but that I don’t really need.

  • Be Creative: Make homemade gifts rather than buy them.  Find alternative sources for things.  For example:  The recycle center often has paint.  Keep on the look out for paint if you are planning a painting project and you can get it for free.

  • Cook from scratch:  So much of a food budget can be quickly gone from purchasing convenient  foods, or prepackaged foods.  Make your own biscuit mix, and make your own soups, etc. It is a much healthier option.

  • Plan your meals and stick to your plan.

  • Make a Budget and follow it!

  • Reduce your driving:  This can be tricky for some families and might not work for some.  Gas is expensive though, think through your driving and plan out your trips to minimize your driving.  You might be surprised how this can save a bit on your budget.

  • Stop or reduce eating out.  This one is a tough one.  We are at a stage in our budget where we simply can’t eat out much at all.  We try to plan date nights with each child, where one parent goes out with one child. This happens less than once a month, sometimes it is two or three months before the next child can get their date night.  It has become a special time when mommy or daddy can get focused time with one of the children.  We hardly ever go out to eat as a whole family.  Maybe once or twice a year.

  • A few years ago we went through Financial Peace University with our church. It taught us a lot of good practical tips for managing our financial situation.   It wasn’t always easy, but it has been really good for us.

  • I have also found several web sites and blogs that often offer free stuff. It really helps to keep an eye out all the time for what might be offered. One of my favorites is: Money Saving Mom

Financial Peace University was a huge help for us, and I think it can help you too if you are struggling with finances.

 

 

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