Managing Our Family Finances and Saving For Our Children’s Futures

Starting a family has been an incredible journey for me. I’m amazed at how different the births of my two boys have been and how wonderfully Oscar has slotted into our family. However, beneath all the fuzzy, blissful feelings, there’s a little niggle. That constant niggle in the back of my head? It’s all about money…

Working Out Our Incomings and Outgoings

After having a baby it was inevitable that the subject of our finances would come up sooner or later. Up until the birth of Oscar, Mikey and I had it all figured out. One of the very first things we did when we moved home last year was to create spreadsheet that listed all our incomings and outgoings. That way we always knew how much money we had to play around with each month.

Now that Oscar has arrived, we need to adjust our financial spreadsheet a little bit to accommodate added expenses such as nappies and also include additional income like Child Benefit.

Managing Our Family Finances and Saving For Our Children’s Futures at https://lukeosaurusandme.co.uk

Child Benefit

Oscar is my second child, which means I’m still eligible for child benefit. Although it’s not a huge sum of money, Child Benefit really does help contribute to our monthly income as it enters my bank account every four weeks. I sorted Oscar’s claim out as soon as I could to avoid having to do any backdating. In order to claim, I had to send his birth certificate off to HMRC so we needed to have him registered before we could get the ball rolling.

Budgeting Food Shopping and Meal Planning

After we moved home, I quickly learned that we needed to learn how to budget our food shop and meal plan. Usually we are pretty good at sticking to this, but during my last few weeks of pregnancy, it all went out of the window and I was living off mid-week shopping trips and lots of snacks. Our meals weren’t planned and the budget definitely wasn’t being stuck to. It’s definitely time for us to get on top of it all again and ensure that not only are we sticking to our budget, but we’re also getting some healthy meals again.

Bringing In Some Extra Cash

One of the easiest ways I’ve found to bring in some extra money is by selling unwanted items or clothes online. I’ve used Facebook, Shpock and eBay to sell a whole bunch of items that we no longer use or need. I’ve found this to be an effective way of making some extra cash, especially when bundling together items such as tops, trousers and baby grows.

If you’re a homeowner, you may also have found that over the years your property’s value has increased significantly. I found a great online calculator that shows you just how much your property has increased in value.

Saving Cash Without Being Under Financial Strain

I have a great app on my phone which I also persuaded Mikey to download. The app in question is called Chip; it’s a safe, legitimate finance app owned by Barclays. Chip connects to your bank account and automatically ‘skims’ the odd pounds and pennies from your bank balance each week and pops it into a savings account. You can accumulate interest on your savings by referring people with your unique code (mine is OPFZVY if you want to sign up) and, because the amount of money being saved each week is so small, you don’t notice it being withdrawn from your account. The app analyses my expenditures and calculates a small amount that can be withdrawn without putting any financial strain on me. I’ve got around £300 in savings now and I haven’t missed a single penny.

Managing Our Family Finances and Saving For Our Children’s Futures at https://lukeosaurusandme.co.uk

Junior ISA/Child’s Savings Account

Something I am keen to get started for both Luke and Oscar is a junior ISA or child’s saving account. If I’m being honest, I wish I had been able to start Luke’s a lot earlier as he’s already about to turn five. Unfortunately, as a single mum and a mum going through some very turbulent relationships, I never had the resources or spare cash to deposit into an account for him.

We’ve been looking into the differences between junior ISAs and children’s saving accounts and weighing up the pros and cons of each. We are leaning in the direction of opening a child’s savings account for each of the boys as we’d like to have some sort of control over what the money goes towards once they reach the right age. Once the child turns 18, the money in an ISA is theirs to do what they will with it, where as a savings account would give us more control over ensuring the money is put towards something significant, such as a mortgage or university fees.

 

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25 Comments

  1. August 18, 2018 / 1:44 pm

    OOh I like the sound of Chip, that is something I am going to look into, it sounds pretty clever x

  2. August 18, 2018 / 7:17 pm

    Budgeting is so important but I have to admit I don’t do it!

  3. August 18, 2018 / 11:09 pm

    My family and I live in possibly the bottom 10% so really do understand the importance of budgeting. I’m about to start uni so feel like if will hit me, personally and individually, in September the real reality of budgeting.

  4. August 19, 2018 / 11:08 am

    This is definitely something I need to start looking into- saving accounts for the kids. Thank you for reminding me!

  5. August 19, 2018 / 1:10 pm

    That chip app sounds amazing! Definitely need something like that

  6. August 19, 2018 / 3:02 pm

    I really need to look into my budget. We’re looking to move house and I think we really need to start saving properly. Some great tips here.

    Katie xoxo

  7. August 19, 2018 / 7:19 pm

    I loooove Chip and always try to recommend people to it. It’s the best saving app I’ve ever used! x

  8. August 19, 2018 / 10:05 pm

    I like how you are planning to help your children’s future. I think meal planning is a great way to make savings x

  9. August 20, 2018 / 6:16 am

    As we’re saving to buy a house budgetting is something I’m trying really hard to do as any extra money we can put aside is a huge help x

  10. August 20, 2018 / 6:06 pm

    Saving for your children’s future is so important. I am so glad we saved for Kian as it gives him a bot of help when he goes to university next month.

  11. August 20, 2018 / 9:46 pm

    I do watch my spending. It’s not easy when you have children but it’s necessary to make sure that you don’t overspend each month. It’s good that you are looking into saving for their future.

  12. Rachel Evans
    August 21, 2018 / 8:25 am

    Oh I have to plan our weekly meals and stick to budget just to keep control of our money!

  13. August 21, 2018 / 10:51 am

    My two children have Junior ISAs, that we pay into each month, but also a Trust Fund each that a grandparent has set up. We were always worried about the children getting a lump sum when they turned 18 … what if one splashes the whole lot on a fast car he can’t control, or what if she blows the lot on a GAP year when we’d rather she carried on to uni etc? It’s all ‘too easy’. However. the trust funds bother us the most … we have no control over these, and don’t even know at what age they get them. All we know is that it’s a lot of money each. We worry that they’ll be a good 10 years too young to invest it properly. It’s scary, it really is. My daughter is 12 in 2 weeks’ time – we’re talking just 6 years until we’re faced with all this!!!!

  14. August 21, 2018 / 11:11 am

    Such an informative post and I know I must follow suit and do something clever for my children finance wise too. Currently just burying my head in the sand – eeeek!

  15. August 21, 2018 / 11:13 am

    It’s such a good idea so save even just a little bit each month. I didn’t with my eldest and I really regret it now. I’ve started accounts for the girls soon after they were born though and it mounts up quickly
    Zena’s Suitcase recently posted…How to Shop in the US Online Stores (Shopping Hack)My Profile

  16. August 21, 2018 / 3:28 pm

    So many great ideas. You just reminded me to sign up the baby to receive child benefit.

  17. August 21, 2018 / 9:13 pm

    My husband loves a spreadsheet and budget. I just spend the money and give him my receipts! He also does that Chip thing and was telling me the other day how good it was. These are great ideas. Now we just all need to win the lottery too!

  18. Joanna
    August 22, 2018 / 10:12 am

    Budgeting is so important in having a balanced life, where money is not an issue. By not knowing how much you spend every month you can run out of money before the next salary. And without knowing how to budget, there is no way you can save money either.

  19. August 22, 2018 / 10:51 am

    I really need to sit down and sort my money out and plan a bit more. Im so bad with money and my shopping bill is horrendous as i dont plan enough x

  20. August 23, 2018 / 7:08 am

    Fantastic tips… We need to give our finances a overhaul… We’re currently working on clearing our debts… We won’t know ourselves when they are gone,

  21. August 23, 2018 / 3:11 pm

    As a mum of 6 any help budgeting is great and like you, I earn a lot back by selling unwanted item as the kid gro out of clothes so quickly that app sounds a great find o ill have to look it up

  22. August 24, 2018 / 4:01 pm

    My eldest has recently moved into his own place and we have had a lot of conversations about budgeting and saving. I still really feel that it is something that should be taught at schools.

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