Family budgeting: tips to make your money go further
Budgeting with a family can be tough. If you have a growing family to support, you will be aware how difficult it can be to manage your finances to ensure that all the household bills are paid on time each month such as the mortgage, rent, utilities, insurances, loan repayments and of course food and transport costs. In addition, you will have items to buy less frequently such as school clothes for the children. In this respect, to ensure things run smoothly, it is important to form a budgeting plan for families.
What is a family budgeting plan?
Quite simply, it is a breakdown of how much you earn and how much you spend and, ideally, having drawn up such a plan, your income should exceed your expenditure.
The budget should include things that you definitely need to spend money on such as keeping a roof over your head and feeding your family as mentioned earlier. Then, ideally, you should incorporate saving money for something that is not a necessity but you would like to have such a family holiday. Finally, try to set money aside on a regular basis in an interest-bearing savings account to meet unexpected expenditures such as car repairs.
Once the plan is in place it is obviously preferable that you stick to it and review it periodically ensuring that you do not accidentally spend more than forecast.
Tips to make your money go that little bit further
Whilst it is important that everyone should consider drawing up a family budgeting plan, it is particularly beneficial for those people on a tight budget who may be struggling financially to do so. Wouldn’t it be great if you were able to come up with a number of ways that you can make your income go further thus easing the pressure on your finances? Well, below are some suggestions that may help you achieve this:
Birthday and Christmas presents
Work out how much you are likely to spend each year on buying gifts but, rather than have to find the money to pay for them all in one go such as when someone has a birthday, set aside an amount each week or month and put the funds in an interest-bearing savings account that you can use as and when you need to pay for a present. This will avoid finding that you do not have the money available to purchase a gift in your everyday transaction account and having to resort to using a credit card on which you may end up paying a high rate of interest.
Credit card repayments
If you have a credit card balance on which you are paying a high-interest rate that you are repaying on a monthly basis and are only paying the minimum payment then it may take you an awfully long time to pay it back. Therefore, you could arrange a balance transfer to another credit card provider that is offering 0% interest for a period of time enabling you to pay off the liability quicker and lower your interest payments.
We all like a break from having to cook dinner and, instead, arrange a takeaway. However, this can prove quite costly. So, why not consider reducing the number of times you purchase a takeaway and save yourself some money.
Too many people stay with the same provider year after year for the likes of their gas, water, and electricity when, if you were to shop around, you may find that you can save some money on these bills. In this respect, you may wish to use the services of a price comparison website. You may be able to meet the cost of these bills by “bill smoothing” enabling you to pay either monthly or weekly rather than in one go.
Car, home and contents insurance
When did you last review these insurances? It probably does not come as a surprise to read that too many people just automatically renew these types of insurance policy when, if you had used the likes of a price comparison website, you may have been able to save yourself a few dollars a month for the same standard and level of cover.
Buy fresh veg and fruit in bulk
If you shop in bulk for such produce rather than buying smaller quantities you are likely to pay less in the long run. You can always place some of these items in your freezer to keep them fresh.
Purchasing cheaper cuts of meat
You can reduce your food bill by buying cheaper cuts of meat and then cooking them slowly. You may be pleasantly surprised just how tasty and tender the meat will be when eaten.
It is so easy when you are out shopping or browsing the Internet to make an impulsive purchase to buy say a dress or shirt that, in reality, you may not need at that precise moment in time. Why not delay making that purchase for a few days by which time the urge to get out that credit card to complete the purchase may have passed.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can help your family budgeting by introducing a few money-saving tips. It just requires a little forward planning on your part and should result in helping your financial situation. Check out the Bad Credit Loans blog for some handy tips on financial control.