With the ever-evolving world that we live in today, having a family budget is more important than ever. We’ve compiled some easy tips to help you start and maintain your family budget daily. Incorporating these tips will allow you to be more comfortable with saving for the future, give you peace of mind, show you where you can splurge during vacations, and avoid debt.
1. Review Your Finances:
Taking a realistic look at your finances will allow you to have a better understanding of where your money is going. Be sure to calculate all income and outgoing expenses such as meals, utilities, savings, and miscellaneous expenses. This is an important step in maintaining healthy finances and should be done at least once a year and when you make major life changes that affect your finances.
2. Talk Budgeting and Saving with your children: Make budgeting fun for the entire family. By teaching your children early about budgeting and finance will allow them to have a deeper understanding and prepare them for the future.
3. Research budgeting tools: Take a few moments to research a budgeting tool that works best for you and your household. There are many great tools paid and unpaid that are available, however, it’s important to note that not all are the same. If you’re always on the go and you are not afraid of technology, then an app may work best for you. If you are a person who likes to see things in front of you, then look for items that you can print. If you are a computer person, then find a program that works for your family.
4. Keeping Receipts: Verifying your expenses are just as important as having the correct tool. How are you keeping up with your receipts? For the on-the-go person, you may want to try the “envelope” method. The envelope method is when you keep an envelope either in a hidden compartment in your car or purse. Every time you pay for something at the store, gas station, or restaurant, then you simply place the item in the envelope and reconcile at the end of the day or week. The app method allows for you to take a picture of the receipt from your phone and simply upload it into your app.
5. Incorporate Daily Money-Saving Tips: Finding ways to save money on everyday items, trips, and household utilities will allow you to save tremendously. Here are some simple things that you can alter to save money daily:
· Cancel subscriptions that you do not use regularly and can do without.
· Organize your grocery shopping.
· Use rewards programs.
· Minimize food waste. Only cook what your family will eat most or all of.
· Contact insurance companies and request a review for potential discounts.
· Drive more, instead of flying, if your trip is within a comfortable driving range.
· Avoid impulse purchases.
· Turn off lights when not needed at home.
· Spend more time outside.
· Try free or low-cost activities to do with family.
· Create separate funds for healthcare and childcare.