Raising a Family on a Budget

There are many additional expenses that come along once you bring children into the world. Early on, there’s the need for a bigger home with a room you can dedicate to being a nursery. Then you have food, medical costs, and school expenses to name just a few. As a result, you may fall behind on a few bills and make a few late payments. This can result in a poor credit score. Thankfully, you can improve your credit score gradually and, in the meantime, reduce your expenses.

Reducing Monthly Expenses

While you may not be able to refinance your mortgage due to a poor credit score, you can make other changes to free up money. Your cable and cell phones are something that you can reduce by removing convenient or luxury add-ons. For example, when it comes to your cable service, you can switch to a basic plan until you clean up some of your debt.  The same applies to your cell phone–a plan with fewer add-ons can reduce the bill significantly. With regard to your car insurance, shop around. Not all rates are the same and there are bad credit car insurance companies with decent rates.

Save At the Store

There’s no doubt about it: when you have children, shopping trips–whether for groceries, personals or clothing–can cost you dearly. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to pay less. Before going to the supermarket, make a comprehensive list and stick to it. Additionally, go online to one of the many sites that provide free coupons and select only the items that pertain to your list and then print them out. You should also check the local grocery stores’ weekly flyers to see who has the items that you need for the best prices. With regard to clothing, make it a practice to shop off-season. Merchants are eager to clear the racks and you can get quality clothes for just a few dollars.

Pay Cash

It’s too easy to pull out a credit card and use it for purchases both large and small. Instead, refrain from buying with plastic and only use it when necessary. Using cash will help you better understand how fast your money goes and prevent you from paying additional fees down the road. Paying with cash will also help you work towards your goal of reducing your debt and improving your credit score.


At the end of a long and busy week, many families make the decision to order dinner out. While it’s certainly something you deserve, it’s not going to help you recover financially. An alternative can be a fun finger food dinner such as taco night. It’s short on the cooking requirements, only takes a few minutes of prep work and it’s a meal that everyone will enjoy. In addition, the savings for just a single month on dining in versus out can add up to hundreds of dollars.

Car Pool

If you live in the suburbs and you commute to work and drive the kids to school, games, and after-school activities, you’re likely spending a lot of money on gas and frequent auto repairs. Instead, try contacting co-workers who live in the area and parents with kids at the same schools as yours to share in the driving responsibilities.

Declutter Your Home

When you have children, belongings start to accumulate at a rapid rate. Decluttering your home will free up valuable space and get your family organized. With a fresh clean space, children will have more room for play. Regarding the items that you no longer want or need, you can sell them online or have a yard sale.

Having a family is a wonderful time in your life. If you have poor credit you can raise your score by changing spending habits and cutting costs when able.