The relaxed mummy files: Money worries

Overcoming family fatigue.
Overcoming family fatigue. 

One thing that most parents have in common is that they want to be great. They want to be the best parent possible and they want their kids to be happy. Yet an August survey of more than 400 Australian mums with kids between the ages of 5-12 commissioned by The Natural Confectionery Company (the ‘Let’s Play’ survey) found that almost half the Mums felt that they were affected by family fatigue. There’s just too much to fit into the day – or too much to get done while wearing a happy smile, anyway!

Children’s activities often get the blame for causing this fatigue, but there’s more to it than that. A whole lot more in fact – such as the daily housework grind, the work and family juggle, the financial concerns … It’s a neverending treadmill. You can make it less stressful though; here are some practical ways to help.

Money Worries

According to a new study conducted by the Australian Psychological Society (Stress and Wellbeing in Australia in 2011) more than half (52%) of those surveyed reported financial issues as the main driver for stress. But – money is something that we have to deal with every day! There are bills to pay, groceries to buy, direct debits coming out of our bank account all the time.  

Cath Armstrong, founder of Cheapskates.com.au and author of ‘Debt Free, Cashed Up and Laughing’ (ABC Books) has the following tips to help Mums feel more relaxed about money:

1. Automate: Get as much of your finances as your possibly can automated. Set up a savings account and have a direct debit from your everyday account into it each payday. Then set up direct debits or Bpay for the phone, gas, electricity, water, council rates, kindy fees, insurances – as many of your bills as you possibly can. Having your bill paying on the “set and forget system takes way the worry when they come in. You can check, smile and file instead of cringe, whinge and worry!

2. Shop less and eliminate stress: Shopping weekly may seem easier, but it’s not. Switch to fortnightly shopping and save 25% or more on your grocery bill. Make up a shopping list, take it with you and  - stick to it!! You’ll save a fortune by avoiding impulse buys and you’ll save a heap of time!

3. Avoid takeaway: Put a stop to the too-tired takeaway by having a couple of quick and easy meals that you can whip up in a few minutes. Keep the ingredients for these meals on hand and when the takeaway temptation hits you can save yourself a lot of money (and kilojoules) and cook at home.