Finance Round-up: Our autumn budget

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Photo Credit: Denis Vrublevski, Shutterstock

It’s a month away from the Autumn Budget statement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond. If you didn’t realise it but now the main budget announcements will be made in November rather than in the traditional spring budget of March. For finance bloggers keeping an eye on the purse strings is something we do all year round. When you are trying to keep your finances on track it can feel that there is always something coming up which will cost you money. After getting through the summer holidays and buying new uniform and equipment it only seems five minutes before they are off school again for October half term. As the days shorten at the end of this month then our thoughts turn to Christmas and all the expenses that entails.

Our team of finance bloggers are on hand to guide us through some of the tricky monetary issues we face and make sure we can always balance our books.

Do you give your children pocket money? It’s a very personal choice as to what age you start giving your kids a weekly allowance and how much you decide is the right amount. Do you also give it over unconditionally or must your children do a few chores around the house in order to earn it? Clare from My Money Cottage  has been giving some thought to it recently and has asked other parents what works best for them.

Once you do start giving your children some pocket money it’s important that they know to properly deal with it. If your kids then some lessons in cash management let Lee from Homely Economics guide you through. The traditional way to save cash is to put it in a piggy bank but Cass at Diary of a Frugal Family argues that other methods may provide more motivational for children.

Sometimes it can seem strange to talk about saving money when you are spending hundreds of pounds. If you have a car then you know each year you will need to deal with the inevitable car insurance quotes. It may be easy to simply go with the renewal quote but that laziness could be costing a lot of money. If you want proof of what you can save and how then look at the research that Helen of The Complaining Cow has done.

Does anyone else that when the kids go back to school the supermarkets are full of offers on lunch box items? However, within a couple of weeks the cost has gone up and lunch has become a major expense! If you are looking for frugal ways to fill a lunch box from just 75p then Morgan M Woods has plenty of ideas for you.

What’s the other expense you can guarantee once school starts again? Yes, it’s the influx of party invitations! So far this term we’ve had three to deal with as each one means a present needs to be bought. To get savvy with your gift buying Carol at A journey to a lifetime… shares her tips on present buying for children.

Lunch of course is just one meal a day so there are plenty of other areas in your daily, weekly and monthly household spending that you can save on. For a quick review of your finances look through Kalpana’s 5 steps to cut your household spending on Mummy Money Matters. If you really want to get indepth and tackle your supermarket bills then Faith at Much More With Less has a massive 80-odd ways to cut the cost of your food shopping.

Each month many families throw away pounds and pounds of food. Either they have bought too much and it has gone off or they don’t know what to do with it. Once of the essential foods in my fridge at all times is cheese as I find it so versatile for so many family meals. As it is a perishable item you can often find it reduced but what do you do with cheese that has a short use by date? Don’t worry as the self proclaimed queen of cheese our very own Kelly of Reduced Grub has some great ideas for preserving it and how to use it later.

One thing that you can guarantee to cost you money for the rest of your life is the arrival of a new baby. Don’t get bogged down with thinking you need to buy everything in the shop instead take some time and look at the advice of A Thrifty Fox Emily.

If you struggle to get through each month and you are always waiting for payday then perhaps it is time to have a change of mindset. To get you going on the savings bug then Naomi the other half of Skint Dad introduces us to the Chip app. If you need some funds to get you started saving then Elle of E.L. Feelgood’s Vintage gives us four super easy hacks to save money.

Once the clocks turn back later this month I don look forward to pulling the curtains and snuggling down for the evening. It doesn’t always work out like that but I’m not the only one who is a fan of soft lighting and a pile of blankets. Holly of Thrifty Mum has found that embracing the Danish concept of hygge actually saves her family money.

One great way to get a bit of free money and save some in the future is to check if you’re eligible for claiming marriage allowance. It came in from April 2015 so if you haven’t claimed it yet you could be in for quite a windfall. If you’re not sure about the details then Pete at Household Money Saving explains all.

If after all this thriftiness and saving you feel it’s time for a well deserved shopping then head to the frugal spenders store of choice – Poundland! Emma Drew gives us her monthly lowdown on what is new this month with something for all the family and some things which shouldn’t be shared with the family!

If you are looking a bit further afield for your reward for saving then a winter skiing holiday may be the answer. Drawing from her own experience of running a 5 star chalet in the French Alps Emma of The Money Whisperer tells us the best time to go and what to look out for when you arrive.

If you want to feature in a future finance round-up then contact me via my Facebook page or on Twitter.


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About Ness Charles

Ness is a former qualified independent financial adviser with many years of experience in pensions. Since having her two children she has gone back to her first love of writing. Ness now writes the blog JibberJabberuk focusing not only on personal finance but also her love of cake baking, gardening and taking photographs on her travels around the UK.