Before you decide to buy a house or a car, consider your finances. Does your family budget reflect healthy spending habits?
The family budget can be difficult, or it can be simple. For sure, it is one of the most mysterious aspects of the home, proving hard to control. The truth is, budgeting is not that hard if you just make an effort to organize and be diligent about your spending.
Tips for your family budget
Your finances are important in many areas of life. This is why I feel the need to share some important tips on how to regain control and replenish your family budget. Take a few moments and read some profitable advice. Then, use these tips and practice. Over time, budgeting may even become fun.
1. Personal Finance
The first thing you need to consider with the family budget is whether you can abandon some of the things that are draining your money. What do you need? Now, separate that from the things you want. There is a gulf of difference between the two if you think about it.
Now, what are your debts? On your list of debts, is there something you could get rid of?
After you have differentiated your needs from your wants, you will have an idea of what can be sacrificed in order to improve your personal finances. As you do this, you will also recognize things you may have been addicted to. Now, they are gone, and now your finances look a lot better.
2. Bring Everything to the Table
Bringing everything to the table can be done in a literal fashion. For instance, placing your debts and income on a graph, like a spreadsheet, can help you keep track of everything at once. If you’re not familiar with how a spreadsheet works, there are many comprehensive videos online that can help you understand.
A chart or graph such as this, not only keep your finances in order, but they also help you remember some of the smaller debts that usually go unnoticed. Maybe these unnoticed debts aren’t totally forgotten, but the lack of organization could cause late fees which then cause you to spend too much money.
Can you see how this would adversely affect your budget?
Controlling your budget doesn’t mean cutting out shopping altogether. What it does mean, however, is limiting your shopping to needs first, and then wants, if you have enough left over. It’s really a simple process. It’s about control.
Learning to control your family budget stops you from spending money on wants as opposed to needs.
4. Set a limit for Categories
Also, another way to make smart decisions concerning your budget is to set limits for certain categories. For instance, if you want to get a loan, you should only apply for an amount that causes debt above the income ratio. This means no more than 40% of what you make in total.
Although you might be able to pay more, it just helps you control your budget better. The same can be used when making purchases as well. Never spend over half of what you have and you will save more.
5. Keep Budget Flexible
Your budget should be flexible, and that means you should never spend your entire paycheck. Have you ever heard the saying, “Living paycheck to paycheck”? What that means is you spend all your money before your next pay period arrives.
That is just not smart thinking. What happens when an emergency arrives?
In order to live an organized and safe life, you must keep a bit of money put back to hold you over until payday. This money is kept for emergencies or unforeseen things you may need for your family. You really never know when you will need money and you don’t have it. That’s why it’s important to have it.
6. Understand your priorities
Within your budget, you will see highly important debts and bills, and then you will see lesser important obligations. It’s best if you keep your high priorities near the top of your budgeting chart. This is how you remember to pay your top priorities first.
This simple step keeps your pleasure shopping near the bottom.
7. Keep Record of Your Transactions
Always keep a detailed record of your transactions to help you remember what’s in your accounts. Not doing this can cause you to spend more than you actually have. Also, you will need to keep a record to help you understand your spending habits.
This can help you figure out things you can cut away in order to tighten your family budget.
8. Customizing your family budget
One way to ensure good spending habits is to customize your family budget. Not only does the budget need to work for you, but it also has to be suitable for the entire family. Remember, what works for you might not work for someone else in the household.
Try different forms of budgeting before you settle on one option. You might be surprised by compromises and interests.
9. Unnecessary Shopping
Basically, any unnecessary shopping isn’t smart. Yes, shopping is fun, but it can be the one thing that prevents you from moving ahead in life. Try to curb your spending even when it’s something you really want, especially if it’s something that you really want.
10. Cutting utility expenses
Utilities, although they are needed in order to run a household, can also be decreased. Being mindful of what you need can help you know what you can eliminate or utilize less. For instance, if you don’t need lights on in your home, turn them off.
If it’s not unbearably cold, then turn off the heat or decrease the temperature. If you aren’t used to decreasing your utilities, it may take a while to become accustomed to the change, but it will reflect on your bills. It’s a good change to consider.
Don’t Forget to Add Money in Your Income
If you aren’t overwhelmed, try to look for every opportunity to make more money. Increasing your budget is always a good thing. With writing, for instance, there are always clients looking for new contributors and willing to pay pretty well for quality work. You can try to find clients on various sites regarding freelance writing online.
If writing isn’t your strength, then there are other freelance career opportunities just waiting to help you bulk up your family budget plan.
If you stay focused on improving your family budget, there’s no limit to what you can do. You may be surprised by the talents you can offer in freelance work. Try to stay open to chances to make more money on the side.
Use these other tips as well to keep improving your family budget and opening new doors to your future.
By Sherrie H.