Tips to cut your family’s living expenses

Tips to cut your family's living expenses - Ever-changing Life of a MumSo you’ve set up your family budget … but it’s in deficit. How do you cut it back to ensure you live within your means but still enjoy a nice lifestyle?

I was in this exact position the first time I set up our family budget about two years ago. After more than 10 years as a working mum, I was about to leave work to spend some much needed time at home with my family. But that meant dropping one whole income, so obviously our budget wasn’t looking particularly good and our family was spending more money than we were making.

Our family budget allowed me to see where all of our money was going and made it much easier to find areas where we could cut back to make up some of the loss.

Here are a few tips to help get your budget back on track and hopefully looking a little healthier.

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Setting up a family budget

Setting up a family budget - Ever-changing Life of a MumLet’s face it, budgeting isn’t much fun. But when you’re living on one income it’s kind of a necessity.

Before making the decision to walk away from my career to spend more time with my family, I crunched some serious numbers to figure out how we were going to drop one full time income.

Through that process, do you know what I discovered? That there’s actually something quite satisfying about seeing our money trail written down on paper or the screen and realising that it could be done. That there wasn’t any reason why we couldn’t live on one income, besides not wanting to.

After more than 10 years as a working mum, I’m extremely grateful that we are currently in a position to allow me to be a stay at home mum. But the change has brought along plenty of challenges.

Living on one income has involved a major change in mindset for our family … and it’s certainly a work in progress. If there is anything that living on one income has taught me, it’s questioning just how important particular purchases are compared against others. You really need to want to make it work.

I’ve had this blog post on the to do list for some time now. But in all honesty, I felt like I needed to ‘walk to talk’ for a while before I could start making suggestions to others interested in doing the same.

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Guest post: Maintaining health insurance on a tight budget

Maintaining health insurance on a tight budget - Ever-changing Life of a Mum

*In conjunction with Health Insurance Comparison

I have to say that one of the biggest challenges of leaving work in the middle of last year to spend more time with my family has been adapting to living on one income. Our budget is tight and over the past year I have been trying to find ways to cut costs to help improve our cash flow.

During this time, I have often questioned whether we should drop our private health insurance. Lucky for me, I don’t move quickly on these things so I didn’t get around to making any changes before discovering I was unexpectedly pregnant with my third child. But now that my baby girl has arrived and, knowing that she will definitely be my last, I am once again questioning the need to maintain our private health insurance. I currently have top level hospital cover, but it is one of our most expensive yet optional bills to pay each month.

I’m sure many other families in this economy often have the same thoughts, so I asked Sally from Health Insurance Comparison if she should offer some advice on ways to fit private health insurance into a tight family budget, what it would mean tax-wise if we cancelled our insurance, and what options there are to reduce the cost of private health insurance after you have finished having babies.

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