Living A Champagne Lifestyle On A Lemonade Budget

We all want to live a champagne lifestyle, but if we don’t have the 5-star budget that is needed to fund it, there is no way it’s going to be possible. Don’t think you will be able to increase your finances anytime soon to pay for a deluxe life? No problem! There are actually some ways you can make your lemonade budget stretch to cover all those champagne life choices, whether you are based in the UK or US. Read on to find out more!

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Always Go With The Budget Alternative

 No matter what you buy to treat yourself, there is going to be a wide range of products for you to choose from. For instance, if you love indulging in a few glasses of wine on a Friday night, you will always see that there are a few different bottles to choose from in UK supermarkets at different prices. But don’t just go for the most expensive option. Otherwise, your finances will quickly drain away, and you won’t be able to splash out on other things. So, if you are going to treat yourself with something luxe, it’s always a good idea to go with the cheapest option.

Consider Relocating

Did you know that there are some neighborhoods that can impact on your finances? This is especially the case in the UK and US. Those areas and boroughs that are often considered quite high-class and posh often feature exclusive supermarkets while the cheapest grocery stores are located in areas that aren’t so well off. So, take a look at current property for sale in the UK and the US to see if you could move to a cheaper location. Once you’ve paid for all the initial moving costs, you will find that life works out a lot cheaper over the long run!

Search Coupon Websites

If you have your eye on something that is slightly above your budget, don’t fear – there might be a very simple way to make it a lot more affordable. And that solution is to take a look at coupon websites. Most UK and US coupon and voucher sites feature deals and discounts for fashion stores and big name brands. If you are lucky, you might even find some designer names on there as well! Most vouchers and coupons can be used online or in-store.

 Cut The Fat

It’s a good idea to sit down and take a look at all your receipts from the past month. Did you buy anything that you don’t really need? Or maybe you still have a direct debit leaving your account each month for a service that you haven’t used in a while. If so, you need to cut down on these purchases. That way, you can cut the fat, and will find that you have a lot more money left over to spend on luxury items. Plus, managing your money in this way will make you a lot more responsible with your finances.

As you can see, being able to afford the champagne lifestyle that you’ve always dreamed of shouldn’t be too difficult. It’s just about being more careful about how you look after your finances!

Revealed: The Financial Impact A Big Family Can Have On Your Home

Having a big family has a lot of pros and cons. The most obvious pro is that you’ve got a lovely large family with a lot of amazing children. It can be a lot of fun for everyone, particularly your children as they can all play with one another.

Unfortunately, a big family can be hard for your finances. Especially when we’re talking about the home you live in. The more people living in a home, the more negative the financial impact can be.

Below, we’ve got a few points that show you how a big family can impact your finances:

Revealed: The Financial Impact A Big Family Can Have On Your Home - family home image


You Need A Big Home

If you’ve got four or more kids, it really narrows down your property search. You can no longer look at small family homes or apartments, you need something big and spacious. As a result, you’re probably looking at properties with multiple bedrooms at the higher end of the market. In turn, these cost loads of money, and you’ll probably have to get a large mortgage from a company like Enness Mortgages. You could potentially be paying double what someone with two kids pays for their home. If you want to live comfortably, you need a big home for your big family, so your hands are pretty much tied.

The alternative is to stay in your current home and try to increase its size through renovations. However, this still means you’ll be paying a lot of money. So, either way, your family is forced to spend a lot on your home when you have a big family.

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You Have Higher Monthly Costs

When you have a house, you get the benefit of not paying rent. But, this doesn’t mean there are no monthly costs to pay. You’ve still go to pay all of your utility bills, and the size of your family greatly affects this.

When you’ve got a big family, you have more people using energy, more people using water, and more people using the internet/TV/phone. As a result, your bills can go through the roof. Imagine having four kids all in their rooms with their lights on watching TV? Or, think about the morning routine where your entire family uses loads of hot water as you wash. Every month, you will be paying a fortune for various utilities because of your large family.

At this point, it looks like it’s all doom and gloom for your big family. Naturally, some of you may be put off having lots of kids after this! But, don’t worry, there are steps you can take to contain things and ensure your finances don’t take that much of a hit. If you search for houses that are maybe in slightly cheaper neighborhoods, you can still get a big house without overpaying for it. A lot of the time, the further away from a major city you look, the cheaper the houses are. Also, teach your kids about saving energy and make sure they turn things off when they’re not using them. Also, get energy saving appliances to help as well.

There’s no denying a big family will have a huge financial impact on your home, but it’s just one of those things you have to be conscious of and learn how to deal with so it doesn’t damage you too much.


Start Saving on Family Transport

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Image from Flickr

When you have a family, getting everyone around can be tricky. It’s especially hard when you have babies or toddlers, who require a lot of stuff. In the car, you need to have everyone in car seats, unless they’re tall enough or old enough not to have one. And when you use public transport, keeping track of everyone can be nerve-wracking. One of the trickiest parts of family transport is the cost. Running a car can be expensive, but relying on public transport often is too. And when you go abroad, it can get costly too. If you want to reduce the costs of family transport, there are a few tricks you can use.

Look Into Family Discounts on Public Transport

Many families use public transport for both long and short journeys. You might not own a car, or you don’t want to drive in congested areas. Having the kids in the car when you’re stuck in traffic isn’t fun. You can use buses and trains and in some places trams and underground trains too. The great thing is, kids usually go free up to a certain age. Children under five are often free, while those older (usually up to 16) are often half price. There are also offers you can use to save, such as a Family and Friends Railcard, which allows up to four adults and four children to travel together.

Reduce the Costs of Running Your Car

Having a car makes things a lot easier for many families. However, with the costs of tax, insurance, petrol, and maintenance, they can get expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the cost of your car. One of the major expenses is insurance, and you can often find a better deal than the one you’re currently paying for. It’s a good idea to use a comparison tool, like the one on Money Expert’s website. You can look at different providers side by side and find the one that will work best for you. You could also reduce the cost of your car by taking good care of it, helping to reduce maintenance costs.

Walk and Cycle More

Are you guilty of piling everyone into the car when you could walk or cycle somewhere instead? You might think it’s quicker to drive, but getting everyone in and out of the car could take a lot longer than walking to wherever you’re going. If it’s a short distance, a stroll could get you where you’re going in a few minutes. When it’s a bit longer, everyone could get their bike out. Little ones can go in bicycle seats or trailers attached to the back of adult bikes.


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Image from Wikimedia

Share Rides with Others

There are several opportunities you might have to share a car with friends, family or other parents. You don’t always need to take the whole family with you when you go somewhere, so taking your half-empty car can seem silly. Perhaps you’re taking one of the kids to a birthday party, and you can team up with a classmate’s parent. Sharing trips can be useful for the school run too, or perhaps you can carpool when you go to work. There’s no need to take the car all the time if it’s just you or you only have one passenger.

Condense Your Car Trips

Another thing that could be costing you more in petrol is taking lots of little car trips. Instead of popping to the shops for ten minutes every day, why not condense everything into one trip? You can often get away with only doing one shop every fortnight, perhaps with a top-up visit to more local shops in between. If you have something you need to do that doesn’t need to be done right away, you could wait until you have another errand to run. Then you can do both at the same time, instead of making two separate trips. You can also do things on the way to doing something else, like picking up the kids.

Skip the Shopping Trips

You can also try skipping the shopping trips altogether. Online shopping will get you just about anything these days, from milk to new clothes. Shopping with the kids isn’t much fun anyway, and it’s not always easy to find time to do it without them. You can often get free delivery when you shop online, and when you do have to pay, you can get it fairly cheap. For example, if you do your food shop online, it might only cost a pound to get it delivered during a quiet time.

You can save on your family’s transport costs with some clever tricks. It’s an important part of your budget, so seeing how you can cut the expenses is essential.

Setting A Good Example When It Comes To Finances

Taking care of your finances is one of the most important things you’ll ever do. Being lackadaisical with the money that you have will only leave you in sticky situations, such as in debt or worse, bankrupt. Another crucial thing to think about, is how your family handle their finances. You can tell your kids all you like about how to save money or becoming financially smart, but at the end of the day, they are going to learn from what you do. Kids will always pay more attention to what you do, rather than what you say. You must set a good example when it comes to your finances. Here’s how to do it.

Start Early

Starting as early as possible ensures your kids develop the right attitude towards money is important. You can do this by making sure you use your money responsibly. It’s no use starting when they are teenagers, as they pick a lot of it up when they are very young.

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When You Do Talk About Money, Know How To Talk About It Properly

When you talk to your kids about money, make sure you know how to talk about it properly. You should be open with them about what you’re doing with your money, and give them advice on what to do with theirs when they have it. Speaking to them about it like adults is important. Try not to discuss money in a negative way, as many people do. Although money isn’t everything, a positive attitude towards money will help them later on in life.

Give Them Pocket Money And Encourage Them To Save/Spend Wisely

Give your kids a set amount of pocket money and encourage them to save and spend wisely. Make sure you encourage them to develop a savings habit early on. When they want to buy something, let them work out how much it will cost and whether it’s worth it.

Live Below Your Means

So many people spend more than they earn and end up in debt. It’s up to you to show your family how to manage their finances by living below your means. This means spending less than you actually earn, in short.

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Plan Your Purchases
Planning your purchases rather than buying on impulse sets a really good example to your family. You should know you’re going to buy something a few weeks in advance so you can adjust your finances accordingly. Never buy something without mulling it over properly first, as the novelty can quickly wear off and you end up being a consumer for the sake of it. Act like you have to wait for a check to cash. Although, you can get them taken care of pretty quickly these days. See this link for more references.

Try Not To Use Credit For Non Emergencies

Credit can be useful, but using it for non emergencies can be a bad idea. You could potentially end up in debt with a lot of interest to pay, and kids usually pick up their parent’s spending habits. Unless you have an emergency or it makes sense to use your credit for whatever reason, steer clear. Don’t spend money you haven’t got.

A Quarter Of Parents Say It’ll Be Easier For Their Kids To Get Into Debt

A third of parents believe their children will be less equipped to deal with their finances than they are

Despite the credit crunch and the focus on finances the nation’s parents admit they are still worried about whether the next generation will be able to manage their own money, a new study* by M&S Money reveals today.

The research shows that a quarter of mums and dads around the country say despite the more cautious financial environment we’re now in it will still be easier for their kids to get into debt than it was for them and a third think their children will be less able to manage their money than they are.

Almost one in five (19%) say their children will be ill equipped to understand and deal with their own finances as there is simply too much jargon to wade through and not enough practical guidance in schools. 

Despite this almost a third of parents believe that imparting their own experiences can help their children learn and improve their chances.  They are confident that by being more open, than their own parents were with them, and integrating finance into the school syllabus, their children are more likely to be able to cope with the challenges of their personal finances.  A fifth of today’s parents said that their mothers or fathers had the most influence over how they manage their own personal finances.

M&S Money works with the DebtCred financial literacy project, which was established as a charity in 2003.  The primary aim of DebtCred is to prepare school pupils for university life or employment by educating about the sensible use of credit, personal financial management and the hazards of overindebtedness.  Employee volunteers from M&S Money deliver financial literacy presentations to high school students in the Cheshire region. 

Colin Kersley, Chief Executive of M&S Money, said: “Having been through one of the most complicated couple of years for family finances the importance of getting things right for the future has never been more important.  Too many of today’s parents are not yet confident about the nation’s efforts to improve financial awareness and ability for the next generation. 

“Providing practical guidance in schools as well as offering simple and transparent products is really important. The goal that our children will be more able to handle their own finances is worthwhile and one that industry, consumers and Government must work on together.”