Parents’ guide to better budgeting

Written by Sainsbury's Bank

Providing for your family can be very hard to manage. It is important to control your finances and not let your finances control you. Saving is challenging, but can be rewarding if approached the right way. Here are a few pointers to better budgeting:

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Where is my money going?

Although this question is very hard for any parent to answer, when it comes to controlling finances, it must be tackled. Look at your regular expenses as well as all minor costs. It is from this you will get an overall picture of your cashflow. Decide what is essential, and remember that all little cutbacks add up!

Learn to love spreadsheets

Identify the essentials and when they must be paid. Plan your spending for the week or month and stick to it. In this plan be fair to yourself. There is no point making great plans to spend very little when you know you won’t stick to it. This will only turn you away from the idea of budgeting.



Find out exactly what interest you are paying on any outstanding debts and aim to pay these off first. Did you know it’s possible to move a loan? Always use comparison sites on food, financials, foreign holidays and utilities. Shopping around can help with daily cutbacks. Review your suppliers regularly. Remember competitors are always competing with prices to win customers. Make sure you are getting the best deal.


Save as you spend on restaurant deals and days out by taking advantage of cashback sites. sign up to supermarket loyalty cards. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save. Make online purchases on sites like Gumtree, Ebay and Amazon marketplace - although the sellers cannot always be trusted on these sites, so be careful and do your research.

Food Shop

Use a shopping list. If you can differentiate between ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates, as well as cost per unit (litre/kg) and price you’ll soon find the best value. Look in the ‘reduced’ section for that night’s dinner, also check out discounts and special offers. Drop the brand names. Plan meals in advance, make lunches and use the freezer for batch cooking meals.

Find out more on the subject of saving here: Sainsbury’s Bank - A Practical Guide to Better Budgeting

If you are concerned about budgeting during the festive period, you may find it helpful to read our advice guide Christmas on a budget.

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