Today is World Population Day, celebrating our planet’s total number of people (currently at 7.5 billion). Nations are trying to figure out how to handle so many people, and the same question happens with big families. How are we going to feed all of our children? What’s the best way to buy their clothes? I am the oldest of five siblings, so I have tips for family budgeting on World Population Day.
3 Budgeting Tips for World Population Day
1. Family Budgeting in Bulk
Regardless of your situation, coming up with a budget is the first step towards determining what you can afford for your family. If you don’t have a budget, you could spend more than what’s needed. Always look for bargain deals and promotions from stores. When you have a large family, see if you’re able to afford a warehouse club membership, like Costco or BJ’s. These places allow you to buy in bulk, giving you more material for less. Second, buying in bulk saves you multiple trips to the store. Next, plan your meals out in advance. Try to get creative with left-overs too. Use some beef for tacos one night, some for hamburgers the next, then lasagna in the next week! This also means you can pack more lunches instead of buying.
2. Dress to Impress (your finances)
Growing up, my mom didn’t always have money to buy the newest clothes. When she did, she taught me the art of bargain hunting. By looking closely, I could buy eight pairs of nice dress socks for only $5.00! Afterwards, I saw I had enough to get a pair of pants and two shirts too. As you budget, make sure you have enough for clothes, but don’t be discouraged for not buying the newest brand item. Thrift shopping is always a good option! You should also try using hand-me-downs from family members. As long as they are in good condition, this is the easiest way to save money and still get clothes that fit.
With the average price of gas in the U.S. at $2.68 per gallon, driving around in multiple cars is not the best way to get your family around. However, carpooling will help with family budgeting too! First of all, it allows you to use less gas by limiting the amount you drive at a given time. Next, by limiting your vehicle usage, you are saving costs of wear and tear by using one car. Another great reason is that you can keep track of where your kids are going if they are all in the same vehicle.
The more people there are, the harder things may seem when it comes to budgeting. But more people doesn’t always mean more problems. Obviously you shouldn’t spend money you don’t have, and you should be careful not to waste what you buy. At the same time, you don’t have to deprive yourselves of any enjoyment. If you create a realistic budget and stick with it, you will be able to live comfortably even with a large family.
If you want more information on budgeting, ACCC has tons of free resources you can use!