If you have kids, you know that saving money can be a day-to-day challenge. In the hustle and bustle of the week, it is sometimes easiest to go with options that seem like a quick fix in the short-term. Fast food and ordering clothes online seem much more convenient than spending any spare time in the kitchen or the store. However, in the long run, these options can hinder you financially. Here are five simple changes you can make that will not only save you money but could help you plan ahead as well!

1. Meal planning

This one is first on the list because it is a well-known fact that deciding what to have for dinner can be the most daunting part of a busy parent’s day. However, if you take just a bit of time at the beginning of your week to plan your meals, you’ll be less likely to spend extra on food out and can make a more concise grocery shopping list to stick to the meals you have planned. Big batch meals that you can prep for more than one big meal can help you save time and money!

2. Consider consignment

You can be on either side of this one—consignment stores are a great place to buy kids’ clothes, because they’re sold at a fraction of the price, and let’s face it, kids often destroy clothes anyway! You can also take clothes your kids have outgrown to the store and consign them yourself to make a little extra cash.

3. Try the different accounts method

It seems straightforward, and it is! This simple act of budgeting allows you to budget and save for specific purposes without overspending! You can set how much you need to save to spend in each area of life to ensure you have the money you need and don’t overspend on what isn’t essential.

4. Small amounts add up!

Save your extra change, use coupons in store, check for promotional codes when online shopping and shop sales when you can. Little savings in many areas of life can add up to bigger results!

5. Save for your future

Beyond saving money day-to-day, saving for your future is something that will benefit your family for years to come. It can be as simple as opening a savings account for your kids or depositing money directly into a CD or Roth IRA. These options can get overwhelming, but we at Mechanics Cooperative Bank are here to help guide you through whichever option you choose!

Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult. Your family—and your wallet—will thank you in the long run! Contact us today to get started.