5 Super Smart Ways To Hack Your Family Budget

Erm, life is EXPENSIVE right now. Inflation (bye, lettuce!), rising interest rates and mammoth bills make living large kinda impossible, right? Especially if you’re a family with a mortgage, daycare fees and all the add-ons. Don’t let the overwhelm get you down, I’ve got 5 super smart hacks to pivot your family budget and save you money. 

Get a better deal 

When you sift through your expenses, which ones are making you gasp for air? Write a list and get busy because you’re going to flex those negotiation skills. Asking for a better deal isn’t just possible, it’s necessary for this climate. 

It’s amazing what you can save if you simply ask! For example: 

  • Mortgage: Are you sweating it out on a variable rate? Call your bank manager or find a mortgage broker to see if there’s something you can do. For example, fix your rates, pay interest only for a period of time, and use your offset account to its full potential. 
  • Utilities: Call your providers and ask for a better deal. WiFi, Gas, Electricity and even Insurance costs vary. See what wriggle room you have! 

Embrace budget buckets 

The best way to stay on top of your finances is a good budget. But when there are so many moving parts, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Let me introduce you to, budget buckets - the easy way to prioritise where your money goes based on your family's needs. 

For example: 

  • Needs:Essential expenses to keep your household running like mortgage, groceries, school fees, utilities and other /40% 
  • Wants:The non-essentials but ‘nice to haves’ like shoes, furniture, fancy artwork /10%
  • Future: This is your family savings plan so allocate as much as you can to it but be realistic /30% 
  • Fun: This is your splash bucket and when times are tight, it’s the first to go. Add what you can /10%
  • Emergency:every family should have an emergency fund for unexpected vet bills, broken fridges and lost laptops / 10%

Note down your expenses, and your income then decide what’s important to you as a family. Create sub-accounts in your online banking, set up automatic transfers and you’re ready to rock! 

Save with meal planning + prepping 

Families of 4 in Australia spend approximately $300 per week on groceries. That’s $15,600 per year. What this doesn’t include? The sneaky Uber Eats orders, the over-reliance on the school canteen and spoilt produce. When you add all of that up, it’s WAY higher. 

Save money on groceries by: 

  • Reduce meat consumption:it’s cheaper and better for your health to embrace meat-free days 
  • Find the deal: browse online before you go so you know where the best deals are
  • Stock up:purchase special buys in bulk and save 
  • Keep it simple:choose uncomplicated recipes with simple ingredients to keep costs down 

Prep for success by: 

  • Use a planner:add your menu to theweekly schedule and stick to it
  • Batch:if you’re making pulled pork, double up the quantity and use the rest for tacos the next night 

Sell stuff 

According to Gumtree, the average Australian household has approximately $5,300 worth of pre-loved stuff hidden in their home. $5k could make a serious impact on your budget and the good news is that selling online has never been easier. Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and even eBay are solid options. 

Want to de-clutter and make extra cash? It’s simple! 

  1. Go through your home and find the gold: clothing, electronics, furniture and even sporting equipment are in high demand. 
  2. Presentation is key:wash, mend, iron and repair items to their former glory before you take top-quality photos. 
  3. Be descriptive:buyers want to know why you’re selling the item along with any features. Provide as much information as you can. 
  4. Interact:to increase your chances of selling quickly for the best price, keep your responses speedy and friendly.  

Borrow, up-cycle and buy secondhand 

We spend a lot of money on ‘stuff’ and it adds up! It’s bad for the environment and your budget. Think about what you need and get prepared early. 

For example: 

  • Book week is coming up: can you borrow costumes from a friend rather than forking out $60 for new ones x 2 kids? 
  • Hating your old teak bookcase? Why not sand it back and paint it? You’ll have a truly unique piece for a fraction of the cost. 
  • Got a big event coming up? Sift through online listings on Depop, Facebook Marketplace or even visit op shops to pick up a pre-loved dress. 

Thrifty doesn’t mean dowdy! 

How are you budgeting, planning and saving? Share your tips in the comments. 

Kelly x

Want more hacks? You might also enjoy: 

Slow Cooker Recipes You Need To Try

How To Get Started With Meal Planning For Busy Mums Of Many

Quick Autumn Recipes Your Family Will Love


This advice does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information, you should consider the appropriateness of the information provided having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

1 Response

Kells Bells

Kells Bells

October 05, 2023

This one needs recalculating :)
Great article though, thank you.

Families of 4 in Australia spend approximately $300 per week on groceries. That’s $3,600 per year.

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