Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Save money with friends and family

Save money

By Tiernan Cannon

“There is power in numbers.’ We’ve known that phrase for as long as we can remember, and when we really think about it, it applies to an awful lot of scenarios. When it comes to saving money though, banding together with a group of people close to you doesn’t necessarily jump out as an obvious course of action. However, we’ve got some tips that may shed some light on how the combined efforts of friends and family can end up saving the whole clan some extra cash.

Establish a barter system

We all have our talents. Some of us may be great cooks, others handy around the house. If, for example, you have a friend that is great with your kids, ask them to babysit for the night. Repay them with a favour that comes from your own personal skills, like cleaning their house or working around the garden. Get a barter system up and running and cut out spending on services that easily fall under a friend or family member’s abilities.

Buy in bulk – together

We all know that buying in bulk works out cheaper in the long run. However, this only really applies to non-perishable products. Meats and fruits and vegetables, for example, are difficult to buy in bulk, because they are more than likely going to go off before you get around to using them. If, however, you come together with some friends or family to purchase these items in bulk and split the price and the products between you, you’re going to make some savings without your stuff going out of date.

The same could apply in other areas. Sky Sports can be a costly investment on your own, but less so when you spread the cost across three or four people.

Come dine with me

Most of us have seen Come Dine with Me – the show where a group of strangers take it in turns to host a dinner party in their homes, preparing the meals themselves and organising the evening’s entertainment. Why not apply the same principle, but with your family or friends?

Take it in turns to host a night, cook a large dinner for everyone (buying the ingredients in bulk and relieving yourself of the need to buy dinner when it’s not your turn to host) and organise the evening’s entertainment. Have everybody bring a bottle of wine and you won’t need to venture out to spend a load of money in bars and clubs.

Trade books, films and music

Going to the cinema and buying films and books and music can be very expensive. Why not simply trade with some friends? This way you’re getting free entertainment, and the fact that you’re friends in the first place suggests that your tastes are going to be at least somewhat similar.

When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.