As money-savvy mums, we cut back on luxuries; turn lights off when we leave the room and cross our fingers hoping we won't be affected by the rise in unemployment.
But there are many ways we can take control of the family finances, effectively "recession-proofing" ourselves and learning to live happily for less.
In this article, I'll cover 5 of my favourite "personal finance" resources for money concious families which offer friendly and impartial advice to help us take control of our finances.
Money Saving ExpertSince its launch in 2003, Martin Lewis' Money Saving Expert has become the most popular resource for personal finance in the UK.
The average person in the UK can give themselves the equivalent of a25% payrise, by being an active, savvy consumer and shifting to thevery best deals; this site's here to show you how.Featuring articles which cover everything from the latest credit card deals to the cheapest family outings, this site has something on offer to help every family save money without cutting back on enjoyment.
A key aspect of MoneySavingExpert is "consumer revenge". As Martin explains:
Using information provided by the site (and the knowledgeable MSE community), thousands of readers have successfully reclaimed PPI and bank charges; saved hundreds each year by switching to the best deals for utility bills, and learned how to successfully get out of debt.The underlying philosophy is that we live in an adversarial consumer society...A company's job is to make money. A consumer's job is maximise their cash. Companies spend billions on advertising, marketing & teaching their staff to sell; yet we don't get buyers' training.We want to redress the balance.
The community of Money Saving Expert is truly wonderful. In the forums, you can ask advice about virtually anything related to finance and will almost certainly find someone willing to offer their advice. There are even sections for thrifty gardeners, frugal families and grocery shopping on tiny budgets.
Finally, Martin's Money Tips e-newsletter is one which I recommend every parent receives. This weekly email collects the week's most important financial news and timely discounts and is sent to over 3 million subscribers. With the summer holidays approaching, we're bound to get news of discounted days out, family-friendly activities and even budget holidays.
Visit Money Saving Expert
The Money MagpieThe Money Magpie was started in 2007 by Jasmine Birtles: a finance journalist, author and presenter.
This site is focused more upon helping visitors make (and save) money by becoming savvy consumers:
We have up to date information on hundreds of ways to earn a bit onthe side and boost your income - and more are being added every week.
Families can enjoy a whole section of articles to help save money, including this lengthy post which offers 50 useful ideas.
But there’s no point in earning extra money if you’re wasting itelsewhere, so we also have a wealth of information on best-buyfinancial products, plus heaps of articles to help you be a cleverconsumer and make the most of your money.
Email subscribers can receive a free weekly newsletter containing a round-up of the best money saving tips, plus a free ebook and downloads to help manage family finances.
Jasmine Birtles has recently published The Money Magpie in book format, which I will be reviewing for Glamumous readers tomorrow. This book is a collection of all the best advice from the site and offers a structured long term plan for future finance happiness.
Visit The Money Magpie
This is Not WorkThis inegnious site offers time and money saving tips to "sort our your finances in your lunch break".
Written by Richard Browning - the development editor of consumer advice site, This Is Money - this site is aimed primarily at time-concious parents, you can find a new short tip each day to help save money on family expenses:
I devised This is Not Work as a place for people - primarily parents - to share some of my quick tips and thoughts on making life that little bit easier.You can also follow This is Not Work on Twitter to receive updates and information as it is posted to the site.
While there are a lot of websites, blogs and discussion forums for people to while away the hours making 'friends' online and sharing tips and information, this is the one for those of us who haven't got hours.
Visit This is Not Work
Love MoneyLove Money is an "everyday" financial website, provided by the brains behind The Motley Fool. It offers down-to-earth articles which can help you feel richer and become wiser about your finances.
We believe that you should care for your money, keep an eye on it,and do everything you can to help it grow. In return, your money willlook after you and be the fuel that allows you to live your life theway you want.
One of the best aspects of LoveMoney comes from registering with the site: members have access to a personalized "home page" featuring articles and the best deals most applicable to you and your family.
How can we help you make this happen? By givingyou the tools to create real and lasting change in your life.lovemoney.com isn't just a finance news site or a product comparisonsite. It's a place where you can learn from experts, share yourexperiences and ideas, improve your money skills with easy onlinetools, and focus on personalised content hand-picked for you.
Updated at least every day, the site covers financial affairs as and when they happen on the blogs, and helps families discover ways and means to manage money more efficiently without using jargon, making it easy to understand.
LoveMoney also offers a comprehensive Q&A section where members can ask financial questions which are answered by the LoveMoney community.
Visit Love Money
Get Rich SlowlyThis US-based site offers some very thought provoking articles about saving money and getting rich - slowly!
While some articles discuss finance options most appropriate to those living in the states, I absolutely love the style of the articles written on this site. These are posts which make us think about how we choose to spend our money, and how we can learn to live on less money without feeling as though we are missing out.
You will not find any get-rich-quick schemes here. Nor will you findmulti-level marketing fads or hot stock tips. I am not pitching anyproduct or book. Instead, you’ll find daily information about personalfinance and related topics.To learn about the core values which Get Rich Slowly represents, take a look at the about page which offers a complete overview of the site along with JD's 12 personal finance mantras.
Visit Get Rich Slowly
Which sites would you add here?For this article I limited my additions to the 5 personal finance sites I visit the most. However, as this recession deepens and saving money has become a concern for many more parents in the UK, I've also discovered several highly interesting blogs such as Reccessionista (UK), Miss Thrifty and Shoestring Alley (I couldn't write this article completely without mentioning these excellent sites!).
Are there any other sites you visit regularly which offer advice for money-savvy mums? Please feel free to let us know by leaving your comments below.
Image credit: Money Shot by Jessica Shannon.