With the cost of raising a child until their 21st birthday rising to £225,000, it is clear that as a family, we need to budget more. Starting a family, or adding to your family comes with many challenges, so here are some everyday ways I look at saving money
- Shopping alone (or better, ordering my shopping online for delivery) and whilst I am not hungry.
- Looking for coupons for money off necessary purchases.
- Turning the oven off 5 – 10 minutes before a meal is finished cooking.
- Using free online printables for activities for the kids.
- Car boot sales can provide a great morning out – not only do I find great bargains, the kids also have fun.
- Cineworld offer movies for juniors, priced at just £1.50.
- Meal planning, bulk cooking and cooking from scratch. Together they not only help us to save money, but we can ensure that leftovers are used and that meals are healthy.
- Making sure we get the correct benefits.
- Selling outgrown clothes and toys on eBay or local Facebook selling groups.
- Seeking out free activities in our local area such as museums, libraries, etc.
Parenting can come with many unplanned expenses, so I know there may come a time when budgeting and cutbacks are not enough and I have to apply for credit. Having a good credit score means that I am more likely to be accepted for credit I apply for. It also makes me eligible for better rates from lenders. This is why I always make sure that my credit score is the best it can be. Understanding my credit score When I first viewed my credit score, I found it very confusing. The numbers seemed to be meaningless, but CreditExpert provided me with a wealth of information on how to understand your credit score. Simply put, my credit score is a number between 0 and 999, and the higher the number the better my credit score was. And the better my credit score, the more eligible I am for credit and getting better rates.
Why is my credit score important? Nowadays, lenders are gathering more personal information when making a decision about whom to lend to. My credit score lets potential lenders get an idea of how I manage my finances, and more importantly, how I managed my repayments in the past. My credit score is a reflection of how well I have dealt with my creditors in the past and it helps my potential lenders to predict their risk by assessing the type of borrower I will be.
Simple ways to increase my credit score
There are a few simple ways that I can improve my credit score.
- Ensuring payments are made on or before the due date.
- Registering on the electoral roll at my current address.
- Spacing out my credit applications – this includes mobile phone contracts.
- Checking my credit report to ensure there are no errors.
- Asking my lenders to close any credit agreements that I have paid off and no longer in use.
I keep up to date with my credit score, because knowing my credit score is a powerful tool. It means that I can accurately judge which creditors and products would suit my current circumstances. It also lowers the chance of me being rejected for credit when I need to apply.