Family Home Budget Tips for Living on $30000 or Less

Family Home Budget

Family Home Budget

Raising a family is fun but can be full of challenges. As kids grow so are the family’s expenses, that’s why it’s important to stick with your family home budget. Below are some simple tips that you can do to save big and live on  $30,000 or less.

Family Home Budget – Tips for Living on $30000 or Less

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Savings tips for the home:

  • Of course the obvious: turn out lights, don’t let water run, don’t leave TV on.
  • First and foremost, we created a budget on which sends us an alert when we get close to our limit for each category
  • We keep our A/C at 80 in the summer and heater at 68 in the winter (turned down to 55 at night)
  • We got rid of cable because there’s nothing we NEED to watch, and if we want to watch something, usually it’s on Netflix or we can watch it online a day late.
  • Unplug anything not in use. Cell phone and laptop chargers drain power even if the device is not charging
  • We use coupons and take advantage of BOGO deals at our local grocery stores and always plan meals around the sale ads
  • We don’t eat out except for special occasions and even that is rare. I think it is more special to cook a special meal of someone’s favorite foods than to go out to eat. (Fast food/restaurants we are big chuck of where our money went before.)


  • We have a small garden in our yard which my kids LOVE to help with in order to offset produce costs
  • We have the lowest cell phone plan because I am usually at home and anyone who needs to get in touch with me can call the house phone, and same with data, I’m at home so I mainly use the wifi
  • We use a bank with interest checking (While it’s not much, it adds up)
  • I try to do all my running around for the week at once, so I am not constantly running around town wasting gas
  • I LOVE yard sales. I have found so many great deals on everything from furniture to clothes to dishes and everything in between
  • I check our local freecycle group once a week (a group where local people post things they have that they are willing to give away if someone comes to pick them up.)
  • I make big meals for my family of four so we always have leftovers which helps with the not eating out because there is always something in the fridge to heat up.
  • Allow 10-15 minutes between meal helpings, people usually overeat because they eat too fast and don’t give their food time to settle (esp my kids). If you give your food time to settle, you’ll usually find you’re full and don’t want seconds (of course you’re always welcome to them if you truly are still hungry)
  • Always buy generic if available (always check active ingredients first though)
  • I use gasbuddy to find the cheapest gas near me when I fill up (again, small difference, but it adds up)
  • Buy anything you know you’ll eventually use that won’t spoil in bulk. (trash bags, lightbulbs, paper towels, detergent, etc.) This also saves on gas by cutting out extra trips to the store


Saving tips for kids:

  • Matinee movies are usually half the price and we eat before going o they aren’t hungry for popcorn or candy
  • Check with parks and rec for local events. We live in a college town, so there are always free events and concerts going on and we make an effort to attend these
  • IF we decide to go out to eat, we base it on who has kids eat free nights (Frugal living website)
  • We homeschool, so we do a lot of field trips with out homeschool group which don’t cost anything
  • They have kids clothing consignment sale twice a year here, so I buy the kids new clothes and sell their old ones
  • My daughter begged me to teach her to sew, so I did. Now she loves to sew new clothes for her dolls and barbies from scrap cloth I pick up from freecycle or yard sales
  • Before planning an big money event always check for sales. My daughter wanted to go to Six Flags for her bday, so I checked around and found out that they were planning Homeschool Day for the day before her bday so we planned to go then because tickets were $37 cheaper than if we went on her actual bday


  • Anytime we plan an outing, we make sure to pack a cooler with snacks/lunch/drinks, so we are not tempted to purchase them
  • Teach kids to enjoy the outdoors. We save so much more than our friends because our kids don’t feel like they have to have the newest game system or ipad, they enjoy just going outside or to the ecology preserve near our home and playing outside using their imaginations.
  • Utilize free/cheap resources for vacations: road trips, campgrounds, etc.

More than anything be realistic about your situation, of course there are things I wouldn’t mind having, but I have to stop and ask myself if it’s something I really need and/or would even use. Usually the answer is no. :-/

Thanks to Alexis R. for sharing these tips!

For more Family Home Budget – Tips for Living on $30000 or Less also read these:

Living on 30000 or Less: Raising a Family of 6
Living on 30000 or Less: 10 Tips
Living on 30000 or Less: Raising a Large Family
5 Tips on Living on 30000 or Less

Also check out our money saving tips:

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Frugal Ways To Save Money

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Living on 30000 or Less: Raising a Family of 6

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Do you have Family Home Budget tips? Share it with us below.

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  1. says

    Good reminders. We are a family of 4 (soon-to-be 5!) and have been living on less than $15,000 for a few years now.
    My biggest tricks… Have a laundry line (sun gets out tomato stains too!) it is free and we just got rid of our dryer since I never used it and it just took up space. Hanging and bringing down the clothes is also my quiet time. I figured out that it cost about 50¢ per load with my dryer (it was having issues too..). I also have a ceiling fan and a rod with pants hangers in my laundry room for bad weather days. A
    Breastfeeding and cloth diapering (I use modern cloth and had 2 in diapers at once!) save a TON of money when you have little ones.
    We have also avoided debt. We have no credit cards and just paid off our one vehicle.

  2. Linda Mizell Hunter says

    What I’ve read today are excellent ideas. I’d like to add a bit. I am a 69-year-old great-great-grandmother and I’ve been where you are (except I only had two daughters). If you will make your own laundry detergent and cleaning products (recipes on Pinterest), it will save you lots. Also, LOSE WEIGHT or stay slim. Exercise regularly. You cannot imagine how this will help as you age (with medical expenses, clothes, health, being able to do things)! Don’t eat junk food!! You’ll thank me (and yourself) when you are 40 or older. Keep the love life in your marriage. Honor your God, if you are a believer. Save, save, save any way you can. God Bless You and Your Families!

  3. Melissa says

    In our town, we found a drive-in movie. It costs us $10 per car and we get two movies. It’s awesome, and the movies that they play are always kid friendly. I highly recommend looking for one.

  4. says

    My fave tip is turning your AC up! When we first moved to Houston we had it set on 70 degrees. We don’t do well in the heat & humidity, but we’ve been inching up the thermostat and now are comfortable at 76 degrees. I don’t tell anyone when I inch it up a degree and nobody notices!

  5. Mollie says

    An air conditioner is not always required ( for all climates ). You don’t need to use any home appliance including your washing machine, fridge, AC or TV, just because you have it in your home. Usually the Ac and the fridge will not be required year long in households. I don’t use them during the winters. Appreciate the blog on saving money. I had once been broke and I had to take mortgage services form Toronto’s Northwood Mortgage. My debts and mortgage is scheduled to be paid by the end of next year. Hope everything goes well. The blog’s been a nice read.

  6. says

    Some really good ideas that we have been using for decades now. but not sure how we could exist on 30K. We live in a 1700 sq’ home that costs us 17K a year for mortgage, we drive old beater cars so no car payment, + $9,720 for health insurance costs for 2 of us, 1700+ for dr visits and hubby’s meds. That doesn’t include if I ever go to the dr., one of us needs surgery, or heaven forbid, the dentist; that comes to $28,120 just for that. Now add in food, utilities, gas and maintenance for the cars so we can get to work and back and any other basic things, forget ever going out to eat, we take ‘picnics’ everywhere; we go on walks for dates. I work 3 pt jobs and hubby works one full time. So living on 30K??? Don’t think that’s possible where we live out in the desert in the middle of nowhere. We have been married for 37 years and raised 5 children who are grown and gone.

  7. SheLuvsShoes says

    I am under the impression that the $30,000 per year does not include your mortgage, taxes or house insurance. These items far exceed $30,000 per year and we have a great mortgage rate of 3.5%.

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