How to Budget with a Big Family

How to Budget with a Big Family

Budgeting for a large family certainly has it challenges as there are some things that cost more because there are more people living in the house. However careful planning in all areas of expenditure can mean that the budget will be a success.

Bills

General household bills that exclude the mortgage and utilities will be standard for most people regardless of the size of their family.

Mortgage

Large families need a large house and so mortgage payments are likely to be higher. These can be reduced if the deposit is large enough but mortgage payments are likely to be the biggest expense in the budget.

Utilities

As the home is likely to be larger, utilities such as electricity and water may also be higher. People tend to find that they can save money with a tankless water heater. Using energy efficient light bulbs and not leaving appliances on standby can also help to reduce electricity costs.

Cell phones may also be a large expense, especially with older children and teenagers that may want phones of their own. One way to save money here could be to try and get one contract that gives multiple handsets as this can work out a lot cheaper. Parents can also cap their children’s usage so they are not faced with any unexpected bills.
Insurance

If people are able to take out health insurance through their employer then it is usually possible get the whole family included on the policy by just paying a little extra. This is usually a lot cheaper than taking out a separate policy.

Life insurance is considered essential for all families. For large families the cost of a policy may be a little higher because they are likely to feel the financial impact of losing a parent more keenly. There is also the fact that a larger amount of money will be needed to pay off the mortgage.

Food

The more people that there are in a household, the higher the food bills are going to be. People with large families often say that their grocery bill is one expense that they feel they have little control over. The cheapest way to cook for a large number of people is to cook everything from scratch and not rely on processed food. There may be items that can be bought in bulk from stores such as Costco which can reduce the total grocery bill.

Travel And Vacations

Travelling with a large family can be extremely expensive, especially if travelling by plane or train where everyone has to have their own ticket. There is also a high chance that more than one hotel room will be needed.

Travel hacking is becoming an increasingly popular way to make travel more affordable. This involves using credit cards that give air miles as rewards and then using these miles to save money on air fares. It does require a lot of hard work to make sure that the best deal is achieved on each card but the savings that can be made make this effort well worth it.

Cars

It is likely that a large family may need at least two cars and they will both have to be used whenever the family travel anywhere together.

Childcare

Many large families make the decision to have one parent stay at home because the costs of childcare are so high that any wages earned are wiped out by this childcare.

Our Search for the Best Tankless Water Heater is Over!

If you’re in the market for a new hot water heater, you might be considering one of the newer tankless models.  These models are definitely more energy efficient than their traditional tank counterparts, but there are some things to keep in mind as you make your decision.

Traditional hot water heaters store water in a large tank.  Your natural gas or electricity is then called upon to heat this water to your preset temperature.  When hot water is used, the tank refills, and the heating process begins again.  If you don’t use any hot water for a few hours, the water in the tank cools and has to be reheated.  This process of heating and reheating unused water is what makes older tank models less energy efficient than tankless versions.  Tankless hot water heaters are able to heat water on demand.  You turn on hot water anywhere in the house, and water is pulled through the tankless heater and heated on its way through the heater to your faucet.  This reduces energy consumption by only heating water when you actually “ask” for it.  It also ensures that you’ll never run out of hot water in the middle of a shower again.

 

The problem that arises for most people when it comes to tankless hot water heaters has to do with misconceptions about their abilities.  Many people confuse tankless water heaters with point-of-service units.  Tankless water heaters do, indeed, offer the energy efficiency described above, but cannot deliver hot water to your faucets any quicker than your old tank model water heater.  The distance between your faucet and the hot water heater is what determines how long you have to wait for hot water to get to where you are.  Point-of-service water heaters are installed at multiple water-delivery points in your home.  They work like tankless heaters in that the water isn’t stored in a tank and can be heated on demand.  They are able to deliver hot water to their respective faucets practically instantly since the water doesn’t have to travel far.  If you’re looking for instantly delivered hot water at any faucet in the house, you’ll want to invest in point-of-service units.

 

Another difference between tankless models and point-of-service units has to do with how many hot water applications you can run at once.  Typically, a lower-end tankless hot water heater won’t be able to power any more simultaneous applications than your old tank heater.  This is because there’s a definite limit to how much water can be processed by the tankless water heater at once.  It doesn’t mean that one application will run out of hot water, but it does mean that one or more of the simultaneous applications will see reduced water pressure.  Point-of-service heaters obviously make it possible for you to run every hot water application in the house that has a unit attached since the water isn’t being run through a single source.

Your next consideration should be how much water a tankless model can process in terms of gallons per minute (GPM).  To give you an idea of what size tankless heater you’ll need to run as many applications as you’d like, here’s a list of average GPM rates:  shower and kitchen faucet–2.5 (each), bathroom faucet–2.2, washing machine and dishwasher without independent heating–2 to 3 (each).  Many newer models of each of these have lower rates, so your GPM needs could be lower.  Based on the numbers above, you’ll need a tankless water heater capable of delivering 5 GPM if you want to be able to run two showers at once without any loss of water pressure.  If you aren’t able to find a single model that meets your needs in terms of GPM, it is possible to have two (or more) units installed and running parallel to one another.
The least expensive tankless models are electric, but there are natural gas models available, too.  Check out top rated tankless water heaters for reviews, including pros and cons, of several tankless models.  You’ll also find some great tips for finding the right unit for you as well as installation guidelines and estimates.