OPINION: Involve all of the family in dealing with rising costs

Does your son or daughter have a government child trust fund you don't know about? Picture: Getty Im

Can you find fun ways to help children understand the cost of living crisis? - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Discussions about household finances don't have to be awkward, says financial expert KIM UZZELL. Getting children involved is the best approach

It won’t have escaped your notice that increasing costs of heating bills, weekly supermarket shopping and filling the car are squeezing our incomes.

That has not been helped by the fact that our salaries aren’t increasing by much - and our savings in the bank are earning little in the way of interest.

We can’t avoid these increases completely, but we can reduce our exposure to them and the stresses that they can cause. 

Money coach Kim Uzzell

Norfolk-based money coach Kim Uzzell of mymoneymovement.co.uk - Credit: @Valentinestudio

We often feel the responsibility of the household finances ourselves. Trying to juggle the money coming in and out, getting frustrated at the kids leaving the lights on, or the phone charger plugged in long after they have left the room, can lead to additional stresses when we least need it.

Price increases affect the whole family, so instead of shouldering the burden alone, I’d recommend including everyone, and making it fun in the process.

Involving the children in understanding price differences between brands at the supermarket, the choice of having a day out at a theme park OR the latest Xbox game etc, can help the household money stretch further - and will teach them that there are financial decisions to be made.

Financial education is still, sadly, lacking for many, so by incorporating choices and skills into everyday life, we are setting them up for a better future of their own, as well as helping us manage the financial squeeze in the shorter term. 

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Another way to get the family involved, with the benefit of helping reduce waste and make the weekly grocery budget go further is to have a family store cupboard challenge. 

EDP Your Money Matters

The EDP has launched the Your Money Matters campaign - Credit: Archant

Challenge each other, or work in pairs, to make the best meal from whatever is available in the cupboard/freezer. You might get some weird concoctions from those tins of chickpeas you stockpiled in lockdown, but alongside reducing waste by using what you've already got, you help the food budget go further, and will teach the family to be creative.  

You can make it competitive and score every meal out of 10, if you’re brave enough.

Making money talk normal and not stressful, will benefit us all during these challenging times.

For more from Norfolk-based financial expert Kim Uzzell head to mymoneymovement.co.uk or follow her on Instagram @kimuzzellmoneycoach.