I posted an article on 10 TV Shows to Watch To Save Money on specific shows that seem to offer financial advice or other money saving tips. One of the shows I wrote about was Downsized, a reality show that featured a large blended family that is struggling financially. The family was quite comfortable financially until changes in the father’s career left them filing bankruptcy and struggling to make ends meet.
However, the family bands together to change their old habits and start managing their money better. Here are some tips you can apply to your own situation, even if you haven’t seen the show.
Financial Tips from Downsized
- Get the whole family involved. The show features not only the parents trying to mend the finances but the entire family including the young children. They learn to make sacrifices together and use what they have instead of running out and buying more of something. Besides trying to cut back spending, they learn the importance of budgeting plus trying to earn more money to climb out of debt. They forego pricey haircuts to have a family member cut it instead.
- Make extra money. In addition to regular income, the family bands together to earn extra money. They teach fitness classes, clean houses, and try to pick up extra shifts at work.
- Have fun with savings. They try to make saving money fun. Too often saving money and actually dealing with financial difficulties are dreaded. But during the show, it is clear that even though it’s difficult to face in the beginning, it is less stressful to understand what exactly your financial situation is and what you’re dealing with. Once that is tackled and processed, you can start having fun with saving money to get out of debt. For example, they do a challenge that two teams need to create a dinner using $20 or less. The kids quickly learn how much food really costs and how difficult it could be to cook and eat on a budget.
- Keep track of what you’re spending. Before the show, the family was undergoing mindless spending of excessive shopping, dining out, expensive entertainment, and more. They explain that they weren’t even keeping track of what they spent. Careless spending coupled with job changes caused them to endure financial difficulties later on. Manage your budget by tracking your spending.
- Cut home costs and everyday expenses. When the water bill is too high, they install a shower head to limit water pressure and make for shorter, cheaper showers. A good place to start cutting house costs is taking a look at electricity usage and make your home more energy efficient. Unplug things when you’re not using them, turn lights off when you’re leaving the room, use natural sunlight whenever you can, and try to limit air conditioning use. Taking it a step further: Does the Nest Learning Thermostat really save money?
- Search for deals. The family often searches for coupons for food, entertainment, and more. Instead of splurging on an expensive dinner out, they use a half off coupon at a local restaurant.
What are other tips from the show that you’ve learned? If you’ve never seen the show, from the above tips, which sounds like items you’d like to try?