Saving money doesn’t have to be hard – and it can even be fun! Especially if the entire family is involved and motivated to pitch in. Here, you’ll find some of the best tips to inspire you to save.
Young Swiss families and single parents with small children, in particular, often have a comparatively low income. Although what they earn is enough to make ends meet, there is hardly a franc left over in their accounts at the end of the month. Looking the other way won’t help, but taking a different perspective can: If you change your perspective from “We HAVE TO save” to “We CAN save,” you may suddenly discover unexpected chances and opportunities. By consolidating your efforts, you can find ways to achieve greater financial freedom. It’s important that you talk together as a family about where money can be saved and where not. Make sure you also take the needs of your children seriously.
To make sure you don’t expect too much of your family, you could start with two or three topics or areas that appeal to you the most. Take all the time you need to put your savings measures into practice in your day-to-day life. Then you can consider new savings tips.
Many people are going through hard times – even in Switzerland. Sometimes a positive attitude and careful saving are not enough: There’s just not enough money. For situations like this, there are points of contact that offer parents quick and straightforward assistance: Such as Caritas or Pro Juventute, Winterhilfe or the Swiss Red Cross.
It’s important to note: You can also save on the wrong things. Whatever helps your budget in the short term, but causes damage in the long term, is not an ideal savings measure. Take good care of your loved ones – and provide for their future as much as you can, even if you have a tight budget.
Reserves: Put some money aside every month, even if it is only a modest amount. If you have no reserves at all, a high dentist bill or unexpected repair to the family car will be enough to throw your budget off track.
Repayment: If you are in debt, and even if it is ”only” with your credit cards, it’s worthwhile freeing yourself of this and the unpleasant interest payments as quickly as possible. No matter if it takes a bit longer – as long as the debt gets paid off. A directory of debt counseling offices can be found from the umbrella organization Schuldenberatung Schweiz (Debt Counseling Switzerland).
Provision: Are you debt-free but living more or less hand to mouth? You can still set a realistic savings goal and stick to it. It is better to make slow progress than not to get going at all.
Health: Healthy food like fruits and vegetables often cost more than unhealthy food. However, saving when it comes to your health is a false economy. In the long term, you will be better off if you take care of your body. The same applies to sports and timely doctor’s visits, if these should become necessary.
Experiences: Small budget or not – a passive lifestyle doesn’t do your family any good. So get creative when it comes to what you do in your free time. Having fun doesn't have to be expensive. Hold a family competition and award the best low-budget excursion ideas with a small prize.
Last but not least, life requires a healthy dose of generosity. So, deliberately treat yourself and your family every now and then to a break from the “sport” of saving. Exceptions prove the rule – and keep you from becoming too harsh. Ultimately, the goal is for money to serve your family, and not the other way around. We wish you all the best!