7 Money Saving Tips For Families

Here are seven ways to involve your kids and teens in trimming your spending, without sacrificing family fun. 
By Mydoh · May 1, 2024 · 3 minutes read

At a time when costs seem to keep rising, Canadian families are looking for ways to cut corners in their budget. Here are seven ways to involve your kids and teens in trimming your spending, without sacrificing family fun. 

1.   Get a library card

If you don’t already have one, sign yourself—and your kids—up for a library card. As well as saving on the cost of buying books, you can rent all sorts of cool things. Did you know larger libraries rent out everything from hockey skates to musical instruments to museum passes? If you live in Toronto, you can get a free family pass to the Toronto Zoo or the ROM, while families in Ottawa can visit the Candian Museum of Nature. 

2.   Go thrifting

Chances are you won’t have to twist your teen’s arm to swap a trip to the mall with hitting up a thrifting store. Not only is thrifting usually better for your budget, it’s also better for the planet! Second-hand stores are a great place to find designer brands for less, as well as decor, toys, and appliances.

Read more: 10 tips to thrift like a pro

3.   Streamline your subscriptions

How many subscription services are you paying for? According to a recent survey, the average Canadian has eight recurring subscriptions, which could mean hundreds of dollars a year. Take a look at the subscriptions you are paying for and decide where you can cut back. If your family is paying for two, three, or four streaming services, decide where you can cut back. Mydoh is also saving Canadian families from one more subscription cost by removing our monthly fee. Not only does this make it a little easier for all families to learn about financial literacy, but it puts a bit of change back into your pocket.

4.   Save on groceries

It’s not your imagination, grocery prices were expected to keep rising in 2024 and it’s expected a family of four will spend around $16,297.20 this year – ouch! From figuring out what to make for dinner, to pleasing everyone’s tastes, to budgeting for groceries, feeding your family can be challenging. But it doesn’t have to be. Save money by meal planning, buying in bulk, comparing prices, and batch cooking. Involve your kids in making dinner; it’ll save you time and give them the practical skills they’ll need when they’re older.

Read more: Tips for saving money on family meals

5.   Give your kids an allowance

How does giving your kids an allowance help the family budget? Hear us out! If it’s in your family budget, paying your kids a weekly allowance could help keep your family budget on track while also giving kids the tools they need to learn to manage their own money. Talk to your kids and teens about what you expect them to pay for with their allowance. This way, they can decide whether to spend it on candy, a new video game or yet another hoodie instead of turning to the Bank of Mom and Dad to cover the costs.

Read more: What’s the best allowance method for kids and teens?

6.   Party on a budget

Birthdays can become big-ticket items, especially if you don’t start with a budget. If the idea of hosting a party at home fills you with dread, look for cheaper (or free) venues, like a local park or community hall. DIY food and have kids make their own pizza, set up a taco station, or decorate their own cupcake. Choose a theme and get creative with the decorations or a craft activity. Hiring teens to help wrangle kids or organize old school games, like musical chairs, can be another way to save on costs.

Read more: Prom budgeting tips for teens.

7.   Have a no spend challenge

Exactly like it sounds, a no spend challenge is where your family agrees to not spend money. Challenge yourselves to one day of cooking food you already have at home, and finding free activities you can do together; whether that’s a bike ride, visiting a free museum or local attraction, or hosting a games day. The pros of a no spend challenge is it can help kids and teens recognize the difference between wants and needs, as well as practice delayed gratification—even if it’s for one day!

Download Mydoh and help build the foundation of financial literacy for kids and teens.

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.


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