6 Family Budgeting Resolutions For The New Year
Are you thinking of starting a family budget for the New Year? You’ll be pleased to know that saving money doesn’t require drastic changes.
Start 2018 as you mean to go on by making small changes to your spending habits every week. Small changes could bring on big savings. Even something as small as taking lunches to work instead of buying a sandwich every day could help you save up to €100 a month.
Together with Ulster Bank, we've put together the following tactics that could make a big difference to your budget this year:
1. Be A Smart Shopper
Be savvy with your weekly grocery shop and shop around for bargains. Bring a calculator with you to the supermarket, and add things up as you put them into your trolley. Online shopping is a great way of making sure you stick to your list, as you won’t be tempted by other foods as you peruse the aisles.
2. Plan Your Meals
Planning your weekly meals and snacks will help you to stick to a budget. Create a shopping list based on what you already have, and what you need to buy – this helps to prevent impulse purchases. Get into a habit of batch cooking – cooking up bulk portions of meals such as chicken casserole, Bolognese sauce or soup can save you time and money. Freeze in portions and label it with the name of the dish and the date you made it.
3. Save Energy & Save Money
Be energy efficient at home and switch off or unplug any chargers or appliances you don’t need to be on. As well as helping to reduce your energy bills, this will also teach your kids about the importance of energy conservation.
Did you know that heating water is one the most expensive electricity costs in your home? Only heating as much water as you need will save you money. A timer control switch on your hot water tank helps to keep costs down. If you have a dishwasher, wait until it is completely full before turning it on, or use the half-load setting to save energy.
4. Keep Track Of Your Spending
Keep a diary of everyday expenses to help you work out where all your money is going. This will help you to work out what you can cut back on. Include all expenses from that mid-morning coffee you grabbed with a friend, to the popcorn and cinema tickets you bought for the kids at the weekend. Hold on to all of your receipts, as they will help you to remember those random purchases.
5. Low-Cost Family Fun
Entertaining the family during midterm and weekends doesn’t mean you have to break the budget. Make a list of all the nearby low-cost/free of charge attractions that your family can enjoy – the library, cinema, museums, parks, beaches.
Have some fun at home! Get out the arts and crafts supplies and get creative with the kids, dust off the board games, bake some buns. Have a picnic in your back garden or nearby park – eating outside on a blanket can be a real treat for kids and it won’t cost you anything.
6. Review Your Mortgage Rates
It's always worth checking to see where you might be able to make savings on bank charges and fees. If you’re a homeowner, you might consider switching mortgages, as this might help you make great savings. Although it’s important to do your research first and make sure that you qualify for this. If you are eligible to switch mortgages, it’s worth considering Ulster Bank, which has a fixed rate of 2.6% for four years on offer to both new and existing customers.
To help make things easy for you and your busy family life; Ulster Bank have Mobile Mortgage Managers, ready to travel to meet in a place that suits you; or a Video Chat option, so you can get your mortgage application moving, without even having to get to a branch. It couldn't be easier really!
They also have great new rates on offer for new & existing customers; so when your fixed term ends, you can choose the best deal to suit your circumstances. Plus customers will receive €1500 when they take out a mortgage with Ulster Bank, to help you pay for legal fees.
This article is kindly sponsored by Ulster Bank, a leading provider of mortgages in Ireland. Call 1800 303 004 to discuss the mortgage that’s right for you.
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Important information: Maximum Loan to Value (LTV) is 90% - varies by buyer type, see ulsterbank.ie for more details. Apply by 31 December 2017. Following mortgage drawdown €1,500 will be transferred into the customer’s current account, from which the mortgage payment is made, within two months. Mortgage offer must be issued within this period. €1,500 payment is a fixed amount and is a contribution to or a reimbursement of legal fees incurred. Excludes home movers on 10 year Tracker product, Further Advance, Negative Equity, Retentions and Transfer of Title. Includes Buy To Let. Lending criteria, terms and conditions apply. Over 18’s only. Republic of Ireland residents and properties only. Credit facilities subject to repayment capacity and financial status. Security and insurance required. Ulster Bank Ireland DAC is regulated by the Cental Bank of Ireland.