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How to Reduce Family Spending

written by: L.Romano•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 11/11/2010

Reducing family spending can be as easy as making a few changes, but it takes commitment from everyone in order to be successful. Read on for tips you can use!

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    Reducing family spending can have a ripple effect through each person. Each member of the family can improve his or her own financial stability when they develop good money habits within the family. Some simple changes can make a big difference, but also requires little effort or sacrifice. Here are several simple ideas you can use for reducing family spending.

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    Unplug and Turn Off

    Even if you are not using the electronics that are plugged in, they are still using energy. When not using electronics make sure everyone in the family knows to unplug the items. In addition each person should make sure to turn off the items when they are not in use. For example, don't leave a computer running, even for a little while, while no one is using it and turn off any unnecessary lights.

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    Make a Family Notebook

    While it may be difficult, especially if you have teenagers, it can be incredibly helpful to start a family notebook detailing each person's spending. It gives the family the opportunity as a whole to see where each person is spending money and on what items and where everyone can make cutbacks. When everything is written down at the end of the week and totaled, the results can be surprising.

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    Chances are there are a couple of expenses that the family can eliminate. For example, cable may not be a necessity if everyone can watch certain shows online. For those that take extracurricular classes or activities, they may be able to drop them or find a cheaper way to do them. Elimination helps the family realize that they really may not need certain things the way that they think they do.

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    Skip the Gym

    With all the ways to exercise in the home or outdoors, those that are watching their finances can skip the gym and take advantage of other forms of getting a workout. Go for a hike, ride a bike, walk back and forth while you chat on your phone or go for a swim. To exercise in the home, purchase incredibly cheap workout equipment during a sale. Make sure you use it or it will just be a waste of money.

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    Avoid Paying Full Price

    The majority of the time, you should never have to pay full price for anything. There are so many ways to get a discount that paying full price is almost unfathomable. You can shop at outlet stores to get discounts on brand name clothing, shop the clearance racks at stores, go to garage sales as well as visiting thrift and consignment shops.

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    Be More Hygienic

    You may wonder what hygiene has to do with reducing spending. Even if you have insurance, medicine and doctor and hospital visits can cost money. Some simple ways to be more hygienic are to wash your hands regularly, not share drinks and avoid biting your nails. Flossing and brushing regularly are also vital for healthy teeth.

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    Monthly Family Savings

    Set up a monthly savings where each person contributes a certain amount of money for a specific goal. The goal could be a family vacation, a day trip or something as small as a visit to a certain restaurant. Depending on the age of the kids, they can throw in a minimal amount or the same amount as the parents. It helps the family learn the importance of saving individually as well as a group and how saving money can have great results. Plus. having a goal will give your family an added incentive to reduce spending!

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    Reducing family spending can mean less stress and worry and a larger feeling of security. No one wants to worry about money and no matter what age, no one loves the feeling of wanting something badly and being unable to afford it. Learning to save as a family can help everyone become financially stronger and more content in their day-to-day lives as individuals as well as a unit.