A few weeks ago it was brought to my attention that NatWest had produced a calculator that works out the costs of having a child from nappies through to food. This calculator shows the national averages but you can tailor the amount to fit your own families lifestyle and outgoings.
For example the national average of raising a 1-3 year old and buying their clothes is £70 a month and I don’t think we personally have ever spent that much every month so I can adjust this along with the current nursery fees .. making it more realistic to our family.
Now after having a play with this for both Joshua (aged 3) and Bethany (aged 13) I will not lie, I was concerned .. not at the fact that having children is a costly business all parent know that, however for me seeing the figures in black and white was quite a sobering thought!
I also feel that having not really been aware of what we were spending it was time to start challenging myself to be more proactive with our money and to try to cut down on our monthly spend if I can.
My first challenge was to reduce the weekly shopping budget. After years of buying at will and throwing away so much food each week that had spoiled we made changes to this a while ago and have been meal planning and writing shopping lists on what was needed only!
This had saved us in the region of £60 a month just by making this one change so it was time to really challenge the boundaries by trying new things; such as buying reduced produce and freezing it like the ideas I had HERE. Also for me it was about generally being more aware.
So our shop this week I set a limit of £40 on the weekly shop and dutifully made a list after menu planning and we then hit the supermarket.
So how did we do?? … well I have to say it was a fail in that we spent just over £50 not the £40 as expected .. However can I just point out our average weekly spend is from £60-£80 per week so maybe looking at it from that perspective I didn’t do quite so badly?
Having risen to the challenge I have to say I am really excited to keep on going! I even have some more ideas on how to keep trying to get the weekly figures down such as:
- Buying more home brand items (non labelled)
- Batch cooking when I find things reduced such vegetables to make soups!
- Buying from a cash and carry (this is where I am going to get out toilet rolls and bulk items)
- Stop buying pre packed fruit and veg & try buying on market days instead
So thank you NatWest for your calculator and for opening my eyes and hopefully saving me lots of cash in the future by becoming a more savvy shopper!
Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with NatWest, in which I have been compensated. However all words and thoughts were developed and written by members of The Oliver’s Madhouse