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Over a million families in the UK face losing some or all of their child benefit following recent government cuts. Families in the UK with one parent with a taxable income of more than £50,000 will lose some of the benefit, and it will be withdrawn entirely if one parent earns above £60,000. The government aim is to save £1.5bn a year to help reduce the deficit. Child benefit is currently paid at the rate of £20.30 a week for the first child, and then £13.40 a week for each child after that. This is paid until each child is 16, or 18 if they decide to stay in full-time education. The institute of Fiscal Studies estimates that the average loss to a family will be £1,300 a year. More details and a snapshot of the effect on families can be found here. >> Share your money saving tips with other mums in our friendly community!>> 50 money saving tips for parentsWith this in mind here are some useful tips and advice that may help save some pennies for the family.Baby and children’s items Some parents find it easier to shop online as they perhaps don’t have the flexibility to pop to a shop. If you're buying online watch out for large delivery charges on items that may seem reasonable or cheaper. As with anything, you want the product you buy for your children to last so it's also important to ensure the items you buy are of a good quality, offering great long term value, so that you will get the most from them over time. Family household billsYear on year we hear more and more about the rise in energy prices so it’s crucial to ensure you aren't paying more for your household bills, such as gas and electricity, than you need to.Although it may seem time consuming shopping around and actually switching tariffs could save you hundreds of pounds a year, going some way towards cancelling out any child benefit losses.One of the easiest ways to make savings is to move to a dual fuel online direct debit deal. For example, according to research by moneysupermarket.com/gas-and-electricity/ by switching to the best online dual fuel tariff, First Utility's iSave v13, instead of staying on the average standard QCC tariff, customers could save on average £214 over 12 months.
Family holidaysWith so many online holiday companies available now the options are endless. Even though packaging up your own holiday can initially look cheaper, in the long run you can end up spending more money on the things that you may have missed or forgot to add in for example transfers and luggage. The last thing you want when you arrive at the airport with the family in tow is the extra stress plus the added costs. Booking with a tour operator can help ensure you have everything included and taken care of from the flights, resort transfers to activities on and off the water and importantly, childcare ensuring that you have a fantastic family holiday with no nasty hidden costs appearing.
Summer sales and early bookings are also great ways to save money on family-holidays.
Feeding the family Feeding a hungry family can also put strain on the purse strings when you want to provide a selection of healthy and nutritious meals.
Planning the family meals ahead can ensure that you are only purchasing the food you need; this also offers the option of buying more of the food you know the family enjoy which should also save money.
Another good way to cut down your weekly spend is to take your lunch with you to work and pack the children off to school a packed lunch as well. Invest in a spacious and practical lunch box and you’ll be more inclined to do so!Creating a food planner is also an easy way to make sure the whole family are getting their five a day. With recent reports on the huge amount of food that is wasted each year it could be a small but effective cost saving by prolonging the lifespan of foods we use every day by storing them correctly. >> Ways to save for when your baby grows up>> Ways to save when shopping onlineTips to keep food fresher for longer• Bread is possibly the worst culprit of all, especially when it is a stable food in many of ours and our children’s diets. Bread Storage Bag - £3.99.
• Bananas, a great snack for the children also tend to go off very quickly. Using a bag to store them in prevents bananas from over-ripening, plus when stored in the fridge, it ensures the correct combination of cool air and insulation to prevent browning. Banana Storage Bag - £4.99.
• The onion fresh pod keeps onions fresh, firm and odour-free and prolongs their lifespan once cut, meaning you can use half an onion in a dish without needing to throw the second half away after a day or so. Onion Fresh Pod - £4.99.
• The tomato fresh pod keeps tomatoes fresher for longer. The pod looks great and keeps your fridge more organised too. Simply place leftover tomato inside the pod, and place in fridge. Keep it fresher for longer, and more organised in your fridge. Tomato Fresh Pod - £4.99.
Family activities Holidays are a lovely treat for the family but keeping everyone entertained on a daily bases can be the most costly of all.
The great outdoors With such an emphasis on consumerism, it is often easy to forget that the best things in life remain free!
Reading Save yourself cash by buying books for your children instead of the latest expensive computer games and gadgets, there is evidence to suggest that reading books is actually better for young children’s development than watching screens.
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How will the 2013 cuts in child benefit affect you? Need tips on how to save on family essentials? Read on…
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