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Financial Management

Piggy Bank As many of you may have experienced, the decision to have kids, never mind stop that paid job in order to stay at home has major financial implications.There is a saying in quality/engineering circles “If you don’t measure it, you can’t control it” and this is what we are now doing.

For the first while until my wife went back to work we didn’t keep a tight eye on our spending as we had a nice cushion built up. But alas since no.3 came along our savings have taken a bit of a battering. As a result I’ve gone back to utilize some of those skills I had when managing a company and gain control of our spending.

Being a SAHD is giving me an opportunity to improve my financial management and control skills. Looking at all our spending, and identifying areas where savings can be made, and I pay attention to how we are spending our money.
For example I know that I need to allow €1000/month to cover our mortgage, house insurance, life insurance (for the house), property tax and the service charge on the estate. We also spend around €700 on food and €400 on our utility bills. Those are the biggies.
So what can we do about it? Well we now that we know where money is being spent, we can also identify where its being wasted. I’ve more or less done away with the big weekly shop, it doesn’t make sense when I can get to the shop every day. This enables me to waste a lot less food than I use to. Now the only food I’m throwing out is the heals of the bread and food that is in the cupboard since before I opted to be a SAHD. Shopping around is easier, so whilst some people might go to Dunnes or Tesco for everything, I’m a regular at ALDI or LIDL, the fruit & Veg and the local butchers, as well as Dunnes for the items where they are cheapest. Dinners are planned out so a large chicken, shoulder of lamb or beef cut is bought to roast slowly and get meals for 2 or three nights out of it, making good use of the freezer.

This way I’m managing to drive down the cost of our groceries and save money by planning better.All our utility bills are being reviewed to reduce the costs and get the best deals where possible, looking at our actual usage of the services rather than the standard or what might look the nicest initially.

So I’ve managed to cut down our over expenditure significantly over the last few months and look to spread costs and as I would have in industry.

Good practice.

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