25 Budgeting and Money Saving Tips for Families

25 Budgeting and Money Saving Tips for Families


Never has there been a better time to put money saving tips into practice for your family. From spending less, to saving more, and even making some money on the side, here’s 25 of the best money tactics to use now.


Related: Budgeting for kids, Budgeting for teens

Identify essential & non-essential costs

1. Differentiate between essential and non-essential costs:

Look closely at your spending habits and see where to cut back on non-essential expenses. This could mean eating out less, cancelling unused subscriptions or gym memberships or shopping around for better deals on your weekly groceries.


2. Set up a family budget

Aside from helping you manage your money, a family budget is a great tool to see where your money is going and where you can save money. When all family members see how much money there is to spend each month, they start to understand how budgeting, income and expenses work. Creating a family budget also teaches them the importance of managing money wisely.


3. Cancel monthly and yearly subscriptions

The average Brit pays out £500 a year on subscription services and is currently signed up for four separate monthly services, many of which they have forgotten. Check your bills, PayPal account and iPhone for monthly and yearly subscriptions to apps, digital newspapers and more that you no longer use and cancel them.


4. Be selective about your streaming platforms

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, Apple+, Sky, the list of streaming platforms are endless, but how many do you watch? Cancel the ones you don’t use, and check how much you spend. If you love a channel, look for bundle services like NOW TV, which also includes Sky channels, or Sky Q, which has Netflix included.


5. Watch out for misc spending

Be sure to warn your kids that it’s not just the big ticket items that eat away at your finances. Beware of small miscellaneous daily spending like a daily coffee or bubble tea here and there, a Deliveroo order, the odd snack on the go and even a quick treat. It all adds up. 


Shop around to cut the cost of your bills

6. Use money-saving vouchers and discounts

You can get a discount code or voucher for any place you shop, from supermarkets to mobile phone companies, holiday firms, and restaurants, so you'd be wise to use one. Voucher codes are widely available online, free and offer as much as 5 - 20% off anything you buy.


7. Utilise comparison sites

Comparison sites are a great way to save money. They compare prices from various merchants to ensure you get the best deal and save money. These sites cover everything from insurance, mortgages, and loans to utilities, broadband, mobile phones, and travel.


8. Don't be loyal to one supermarket or brand

Loyalty no longer pays on the cost of brands and supermarkets. New research shows over half (56%) of Brits have switched from a brand they once used, according to Emarsys Customer Loyalty Index, with cost coming top of the reasons for shoppers switching brands.


9. Look for bundle deals

A bundle deal is a deal that's made up of 2 or more services. So broadband, phone and TV, gas, electricity, landline, and extra services. They are designed to lock you into a deal but at the same time offer significant savings if you 'bundle' the services together.


10. Get a smart meter

To save money on gas and electricity, and water, you have to be proactive. The best way to do this is to use a digital display that you'll be offered with a smart meter. This helps you keep track of how much energy you're using and when to reduce your usage and pay less.


Encourage your kids to budget & save their money

11. Give kids pocket money

Regular pocket money is a great way to teach kids about financial responsibility, as when kids are given pocket money, they are responsible for managing it. This means deciding how to spend or save it and how to delay gratification to get what they want.


12. Teach your child how to budget

Explain to kids that a budget is a plan for how you will spend your money and stops you from spending more money than you have. Help them create a weekly budget with a family-friendly budgeting app.


13. Explain how to track their spending

To save money, help your child track their spending. There are many ways to track spending. You can use a budgeting app, a spreadsheet, or a notebook. Help your child track their income and expenses to see where their money goes.


14. Talk about needs versus wants

Talk to kids about needs versus wants to help them understand how to save money. "There are lots of simple ways to do this", says Louise Hill, Co-founder and CEO of GoHenry. "When you take kids to the shops. Use shopping for groceries as an opportunity to talk about wants and needs. So we need the bread and the chicken, but we don't need - we just want - the chocolate cake and ice cream, for example."


15. Start your child saving

Remember to show kids the power of saving. What does your child want to save for? A new toy? A bike? A trip to the zoo? Once your child knows, help them to start saving, so they can reach their goal.


16. Encourage kids/ teens to earn

When kids work, they learn that it takes effort to earn money. They then learn how to spend money more wisely and budget and save. These are all essential financial skills that they will need as adults.


Be smart about birthdays and celebrations 

17. Keep kids' birthdays simple

Don't feel like you must go all out for your child's birthday party with entertainers, party bags and unique cakes. Sometimes, the simplest parties are the most fun. Focus on what your child will enjoy, and don't worry about the little things.


18. Make Christmas affordable

The most important thing with celebrations like Christmas is to set a budget and stick to it for everything from presents to food to decorations. This will help you stay on track and avoid overspending.


19. Be smart about weddings

Gifts for the newlywed couple will be the biggest expense for wedding guests in 2023; a survey from American Express shows guests expecting to spend an average of £217.90 on the happy couple. Help yourself by sticking to a budget and spending off the list if the gifts are too expensive.


20. Budget for gifting

An excellent idea for gifting on birthdays and at Christmas for friends and families is the one gift budget rule. This focuses on the quality, not the quantity, of gifts. How it works is you decide on a budget per gift, say £10. Then everyone buys either one thing someone wants, one gift they need, or one thing to wear or one present to read.


Go vintage and secondhand 

21. Make use of apps like Olio and Too Good To Go

Both apps work on reducing waste and saving families money. Olio is a sharing app for local communities, making it easy to get items and give away the things you don't need for free. From books, football boots, sports equipment, clothes, furniture and more. While Too Good To Go is an app that connects you to local restaurants and stores with surplus unsold food. You then buy a bag for a small sum of money. Places include Starbucks, Greggs, Costa and local shops.


22. Use Facebook marketplace for sofas and furniture

 Facebook Marketplace is a great way to buy and sell items locally. It's free to use, and you can find various items for sale, from furniture and electronics to cars and clothes. It's free to use. There are no fees to list or sell items on Facebook Marketplace, and it has several safety features. However, people do need to stay safe when using Facebook Marketplace and look out for scams.


23. Vinted and Depop for clothes

On these platforms, you can find great deals on secondhand clothing for kids and teens. Most of the items are secondhand, and so many sellers compete for sales that it works in your favour as a buyer. Be sure to check shipping charges and fees before buying items.


24. Sell your used items

Another way to save money is to make money.  From t-shirts to trainers you no longer wear, to kitchen items you don’t use, try selling them on online marketplaces such as eBay and Facebook Marketplaces to create an extra stream of money for yourself.


25. Save on school uniforms

 The Children's Society claims parents spend on average £422 a year on secondary and £287 on primary uniforms, with branded items costing more. Online school uniform marketplaces where parents & PTAs can buy, sell, give away and recycle outgrown school uniforms such as Uniformerly and Uniformd can help parents save money.


How can GoHenry help?

GoHenry is a prepaid kids’ debit card that can help kids in several ways. Not only does it give kids the independence to use a debit card in the real world, but it also helps them learn about the value of money and how to make smart financial decisions. It teaches them about money management and the importance of tracking their spending, and also allows them to set savings goals





Teach kids the value of money

Needs vs wants

Track your child's spending

Money management for teens

Teaching kids about money

Ways to manage your child’s spending habits


Written by Anita Naik Published Aug 18, 2023 ● 10 min. read