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Family Finances #MoneyConfident

March 31, 2015

When Mr Boo and I were just 17 years old we met and feel in love. By the time we were 19 years old we had purchased our first property, a little one bedroom third floor flat – it was our little place to call our own. Over the coming years we somehow managed to pay for driving lessons, takeaways, nights out plus a wedding and honeymoon. In 2006 we finally sold our little flat and found a house to buy and just before we exchanged contracts we found out we were pregnant with Roo.

As we weren’t sure whether I would return to work following my maternity leave we chose to defer my company maternity pay and suddenly realised that money was tight. Returning to work when Roo was just 5 months old as my statutory maternity pay was finishing and we couldn’t afford for me to receive no income. Fast forward to 2010 and Tigger came along and again money was tight on maternity leave but just as I returned to work Roo started full time school and Tigger started a day nursery so thankfully we only had one lot of childcare fees to pay out for.

Then in March 2012 the bottom really fell out of our little life when Mr Boo was made redundant, receiving a telephone call to close the doors to his store at 1pm. Needless to say we were shell shocked and suddenly our priorities in life changed over night.

Family essentials

When I think back to how we would spend our money before Mr Boo’s redundancy I cringe, we wasted so much money on things we didn’t need and had no idea on any given day how much (or little) we had in our bank account. Working out what were family essentials was the hardest part of making changes within our life. As we don’t drink or smoke so to us having a full TV package was our little luxury but when it came down to it, it wasn’t an essential so we bought a freeview box and cancelled our subscription opting to watch DVDs instead of premium TV.

A close up of a sign

The above infographic was sent to me by Legal & General and today I am happy to say that we don’t fall into that pigeon hole of a typical family. We have been through all our direct debits and cancelled things we didn’t ‘need’, reduced our essential bills by switching insurance providers and comparing broadband and TV packages. Making sure that we put a small amount of money away each week leaves us with a safety net if something crops up that we weren’t expecting.

In many ways we now count the redundancy as a blessing as it made us take a long hard look at our family finances and realign our priorities as a family. Thankfully we are out the other side but realise that is it easy to fall back into the trap of spend, spend, spend without thinking about our family finances.

Rough Guide to Family Finances

Legal & General are looking to help families understand their family finances have produced a free Rough Guide to Family Finances ebook which you can download HERE

Share your #FamilyEssentials to win an iPad

Legal & General is running a competition to win an iPad, all you need to do is share a photo with accompanying comment via Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the #FamilyEssentials hashtag – for full terms and conditions please see HERE.

Getting to grips with family finances

Do you want it to be easier to manage your family finances? You’re not alone. As a nation, we don’t talk about our finances enough and many people lack confidence when managing their money. Take a look at this #MoneyHangout on getting to grips with family finances…

Have you got your family finances in order?
Do you find keeping check of your family essentials easy or difficult?

Disclosure: This post is brought to you in collaboration with Legal & General

  • Liz Burton March 31, 2015 at 7:29 am

    We’ve had to break down all our outgoings for a mortgage application – our fixed term has ended and we want to switch. It’s quite shocking to see where all our money goes!

  • The Diary Of A Jewellery Lover March 31, 2015 at 7:39 am

    I do think it is important to keep a watch on your finances and cancel any unnecessary direct debits or standing orders. I always ring around to get new quotes on insurance every year too, and use companies like Quidco to get cashback on purchases. I need to look for a new ISA as the new tax year is approaching, as well.

  • Rebecca Smith March 31, 2015 at 8:49 am

    It’s taken a while but I think we are finally in control of our own finances. Fingers crossed it stays this way!

  • Lucy Dorrington March 31, 2015 at 11:17 am

    We had to do this and it’s really hard! We spend our time now thinking up new ways to entertain the family without spending lots!

  • angela hamilton March 31, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    I have recently started to keep an income and expenditure form that way we can keep tabs on our finances. Best thing I have done! x

  • Nikki Thomas March 31, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    I can really relate to this post. When I gave up work to be a full time mum, we carried on as though we were still earning two wages and soon had a huge shock. I’m still not brilliant at budgeting but like you, we have cute everything back and try to budget as best we can. I do know how much we have in the bank though (not a lot) and like you I didn’t used to.

  • Sarah Bailey March 31, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    I am trying to get better at keeping on top of everything, the other half has been quite ill and with not so much coming in it can be hard work. x

  • Mammasaurus March 31, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    We manage to keep things in check thanks to Papasaurus (not me, I am useless with money!)
    We withdraw the same amount of cash each week and that does food, petrol and out and about things. That way we can save the rest!

  • Penny A Residence March 31, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    You are so right it is when things are tight that you truly learn to budget. And those habits learnt in emergencies stick around. I do think kids should have to do more lessons on it at school, learning to manage finances and debate what money goes where- it would make Maths lessons more fun too 😉

  • lisa prince March 31, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    im a nightmare i dont have no idea of anything and leave everything to my husband

  • Cass March 31, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    I don’t think we got the hang of money until we had to when I reduced my hours at work. It’s not easy but it’s worth it x x

  • Mums do travel March 31, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    I find it really difficult working out finances – I always have done.

  • Michelle March 31, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    I was quite shocked by the stats on the infographic, that seems a really high amount to spend per week! xx

  • Hannah Staveley March 31, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    This is such a good post and very informative,Will be getting married this May so need to sort a few things out.

  • Michelle Twin Mum March 31, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    I also cringe when I think back to how we used to spend out money. We would be minted now if we had looked after it! Mich x

  • Anya from Older Single Mum and The Healer March 31, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    We’d all be rich in hindsight, the saying goes and well we might be, but we live and learn as another saying goes. This kind of responsibility comes to us all evetually but I am glad to see such an innovative drive. Education is key – as alwasy, and, as Penny says, it should be taught in school!

  • Ruth March 31, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    I agree with Penny that basic budgeting is something you could really do with being taught at school, and then again at college or uni if you go on to that. My hubby and I both HATE doing paperwork and finances, but I’ve ended up taking charge of it because I’m the one who stayed at home to parent, and now works from home. I’ve really had to work it out as I go along though, and don’t find it easy, so something like the L&G rough guide would be really helpful for me.

  • Jaime Oliver April 1, 2015 at 8:58 am

    I so need to be more productive with readdressing our finances. We set our current budgets while i was working full time but since going self employed i have not really looked at them … *mental note made to sort!*

  • VaiChin April 1, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    I think it is incredibly important to keep on top of your finances and budget for a rainy day. That’s the way I was brought up, and I hope to pass the same values to my children.

  • Rachel April 1, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Ive been quite good at cutting out the *crap* so speak, but I could do better x

  • Globalmouse April 1, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Redundancy can be such a shock. I’m glad you came out the other side. We really could do with an overhaul of our finances and a good look at them all….thank you for this!

  • Jen Walshaw April 2, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    We work hard to try and keep our spending to a minimum, but there are things that we certaily spend too much money on

  • Agata April 3, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    I get lost sometimes when it comes to our spending but most of the time I do keep lid on things pretty tight

  • Sylvia April 5, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    I keep our finances spread sheets and monitor our spending. Plus we budget a lot and meal plan and do lots of other frugal stuff 🙂
    Great post!

  • Sabina April 5, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Redundancy is such a horrible thing, it happened to us and we are still feeling the repercussions now. Unfortunately we have never earned enough to save but we do the best we can with what we have. We recently looked at our monthly spends and it’s scary where you waste money without even realising it.

  • Ryan Costello April 6, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    We are terrible. Me and my wife are both spenders, which doesn’t help because there isn’t one to be the voice of reason usually. lol

  • Kara April 7, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Hubby is better at saving than I am but we both do save as you earn schemes at work as you don;’t miss the money then

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