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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

How we save money while raising a family on one income

Do you remember life pre-kids?

I vaguely remember how carefree we were when we had disposable income. Five years ago I could buy new clothes {brand name ones even} whenever I wanted, we ate out all the time and we went on holidays every 6 months {yes every 6 months without fail, and to pretty cool places too}. If we wanted something we went out and bought it, simple. Those were the days.

It's really amazing how everything suddenly changes when you have kids though. I knew there'd be physical changes like sleepless nights and all the things you need to do to keep a little person alive, but the financial changes took me by surprise. I thought I was pretty budget conscious and money savvy before, but once we became a single income family with a baby to support, my money saving skills had to step up a notch.

Years ago an old boss told me how after she had kids her new favourite hobby was looking for bargains on baby items and ways to save money. At the time I thought gosh how boring is her life. Now I get it. Now I'm that woman, and I tell you what I'm a ninja when it comes to tracking down which supermarket has nappies on special each week. I've also switched to home brand items, buy things on sale, use vouchers and buy in bulk to save money. Being able to stay home with my babies as long as possible is really important to me, so I do everything I can to continue to make that a viable option for our family.

How to save money while raising a family with one income

I'll let you in on a little secret, one of the best ways I've saved us money {apart from buying nappies on special each week} is by changing our electricity supplier. When I started maternity leave I soon realised our electricity bill would automatically increase because I'd be home all day using electricity when we hadn't been previously. I hadn't even factored in how much extra electricity I'd be using in order to care for my new bundle of joy.

By the time she was a few weeks old I was washing a billion dirty outfits daily {I swear I changed her 4 times a day thanks to reflux}, sterilising bottles multiple times and binge watching tv for hours while she slept on me {because she refused to sleep anywhere else}. On top of all that I was boiling the jug 15 times a day to make 5 cups of tea that I then reheated in the microwave twice before I finally got to drink them cold {yep, it takes lots of electricity to enjoy a cold cup of tea!}. Our electricity bill sky rocketed.

So, I stepped out of my comfort zone and researched companies, compared costs and actually switched energy providers for the first time in my life. It's one of those things we all know we should do to save money, but it was always in the too hard basket before, because I hate change. But it turns out I hate being broke more. I also had no idea how much money I could actually save by switching and I didn't realise you could also get discounts just for paying bills on time {how cool is that}. 

I actually take a lot of satisfaction in saving money these days. I feel like it's my way to contribute to the household now I no longer have an income {in addition to raising the small people, obviously}. Even though my clothes now come from Kmart, eating out means a trip to McDonalds and the only holiday I get is an hour of peace between my 4yr old going to sleep and me crawling into my own bed {on a good night}, we're surviving. In fact life is pretty good {and one day my babies won't need nappies anymore so I can start a long awaited holiday fund}.

How have you saved money since having kids?
Are you as obsessed with buying nappies on sale as I am? Please say yes.

Toni x

Disclosure - This is a sponsored post for Alinta Energy as per my disclosure policy.

Alinta Energy is an established national energy company, with a proud history dating back to 1941. They have 800,000 customers and over 400 employees across Australia. They both generate and retail electricity in Australia, which means they are able to offer extremely competitive pricing. They retail energy in Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and have recently launched in Queensland.

Would you like to comment?

  1. We switched to Aldi nappies and the price saving was so good, plus they were the only ones we could find that would contain our girls explosive poos (most of the times, sometimes nothing is going to contain that shit, pun intended!). Having an account where a set amount of money goes each week and that our bills then come out of has really helped too, it's nice to know that even if we have a lean week and need to eat eggs on toast or other really simple cheap things, all those bills are paid.

  2. It makes such a difference to any household budget to do this! I'm glad you took the opportunity to share. It's a great reminder for me to call my phone provider, their bills are out of control and I want a better deal.

    1. I'm so glad I switched. Now I compare prices regularly. I was so complacent before and just paid my bills without questioning them ever.

  3. To be honest, I'm not an overly frugal person. I've tried saving on electricity and other bills like private health only for them to go up 6 months later and I just couldn't be bothered. I try shopping at Aldi every now and then. But, when I look back to when we were on one income, we definitely didn't go out as much or buy as much like clothes etc.

    1. We've definitely sacrificed going out and things like takeaway, going to the movies etc. I really wish I had of saved more money while I was still working.

  4. This is a good plan to share. We used to pay each fortnight when we were living in Sydney but when we changed providers to move to the central coast we settled on best rate for pensioners and pay each 3 months. Glad to see you back blogging! Denyse #teamIBOT