Making Money A Family Affair 13 Essential Budgeting Tips For Families

Making Money A Family Affair 13 Essential Budgeting Tips For Families

With these 13 essential budgeting tips for families, you can save instead of spend! Try using these tips today and start adding money back into your account.

Need help negotiating your debt or defending yourself from a debt collector? Contact Guardian today for help from a dependable team of attorneys.

Student loans, credit card bills, and car loans can all stack up. Before you know it, you’re drowning in debt. It’s happening across the country, too. The average American has about $38,000 in personal debt. That excludes home mortgages.

Instead of letting your debt stack up, try these 13 budgeting tips for families.

With these tips, you can start saving money instead of washing it down the drain. Then, you can get out of debt and put your hard-earned money to better use.

Here are our 13 essential budget ideas for families!

1. Track Income & Expenses

Before you can accurately set a budget, you need to know how much is coming in and how much you’re spending. Track your family’s income and expenses for the span of a month. You’ll need to gather bills, bank statements, and paycheck stubs to gather all the information you need.

Try to break this information down into categories. For example, you’ll want to see how much you’re spending on groceries each month, versus transportation and entertainment. This way, you can see how much money is going to different areas.

Instead of winging your budget, set a hard limit. Then, break your budget up into these varying categories. By determining how much you’re allowed to spend within each category, you can find ways to cut costs and save money. Make sure you’re setting aside a little money each month for savings. Track your spending over the next month or two. You might need to make adjustments to these different categories. Then, you can use these rest of these budgeting tips for families to start saving!

2. Set Goals

You’re already working hard to pay the bills each month. Sometimes, you can become so focused on bills that you forget the family budget. In order to stay on track, try setting financial goals. Remember, saving money is a long-term goal. However, you might want to break this bigger goal into smaller ones. For example, you might need to save money for your child’s college fund. You might also want to save money for your retirement. Regardless of your specific goals, setting a budget for family members can help you protect your family’s future.

Don’t forget about your short-term goals as well. For example, you might want to cut certain expenses.

These can include:

  • Utilities
  • Cable
  • Subscriptions
  • Entertainment
  • Transportation
  • Food

Setting specific goals to minimize these different areas can help you stay on track with your budget.

3. Get Out of Debt

Falling into debt can feel overwhelming, especially while you’re trying to keep up with monthly expenses. Setting realistic goals can make managing your debt a lot easier. For example, you can create a debt management plan.

Building a debt management plan into your existing budget plan will help you pay off:

  • Credit cards
  • Mortgage
  • Overall debt

Here’s what household debt throughout the country looks like when broken into categories:

  • Mortgages: $18,421
  • Student loans: $50,626
  • Auto loans: $29,539
  • Credit cards: $16,883

While it’s not realistic you’ll pay off all your debt in a single day, you can still work toward reducing your debt little by little. Your budget will show you where high-interest charges are draining your account. You can also identify unnecessary expenses so save instead of spend. That way, you’ll have more money to reserve for paying off your debt.

If a debt collector is suing you, you’ll need a great defense. You might also want to consider debt negotiation before creditors and collectors can file a collection suite. An experienced attorney can guide you through the process to ensure better results during the negotiations.

4. Lower Taxes

A few small changes can help you reduce your taxes before April 15 rolls around. As a result, you’ll also add more money to your family’s account throughout the year. First, you need to choose the right filing status. Make sure you study the current tax rules for claiming dependents, too. For example, you’ll want to use the child tax credit. Take advantage of child care and dependent care expenses as well. People tend to overspend on taxes every year. By studying your family budget, you can find more ways to save instead of overspend.

5. Plan for Emergencies

A major financial emergency can cause your budget to take a major hit. Instead of stressing over a financial crisis, set a little money aside. Creating an emergency fund will help you build your savings for these unexpected expenses. Otherwise, you might find yourself dipping into money meant for paying off your debt. For example, consider getting life insurance and establishing your last will and testament.

Taking these steps can shield your family from financial hardship. If something happens to you and/or your spouse, you’ll have a plan in place. Using the rest of these budgeting tips for families can also help you plan a small nest egg for emergencies. That way, you’re prepared with the peace of mind that you have a failsafe in place.

6. Cook Up Savings

How much money do you spend on groceries every month? One way to improve your family budget is to control how much you spend on food. A well-planned food budget can help you cut costs and put more money back into your pocket. Start by creating a shopping list before you arrive at the grocery store. Then, stick to it! Don’t allow for any impulse buys.

Make sure to check online for savings, coupons, and specials. Planning ahead will help you recognize these sales so you can save money. That way, you’re stocking the fridge and sticking to the family budget.

Try to cut back on how often you eat out, as well. Instead, plan a family menu for the week. Establishing a menu will keep you obligated, so you don’t feel the need to eat out. If you do decide to splurge at a restaurant, stay savvy. Check for “kids eat free” deals in your area. Searching for budget-friendly restaurants will help you stick to the family budget and give you a break from the kitchen.

7. Budget for Travel

Using these budgeting tips for families doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. If you want to plan for a vacation, add it to your budget. Then, start saving!

As with your main family budget, it can help to set a budget for your trip. For example, you’ll need to set a limit for food, entertainment, and travel. Establishing a budget before your trip can help you avoid overspending.

If a trip just isn’t in the budget, try a “staycation” instead. You can stay home (avoiding expenses travel and hotel costs) but still explore and complete fun day trips on a budget.

8. Cancel Subscriptions

Netflix, Hulu, Hello Fresh, Amazon Prime; the list goes on. All of your monthly subscriptions can add up fast. Instead of paying for multiple subscriptions, cancel the ones you don’t use regularly.

Turn off the “auto-renew” option as well. This way, you can reevaluate whether or not you need a specific subscription every month. If your budget changes next month, you might have room for a new subscription (or might need to remove one).

If you want to keep your subscriptions, ask if you can share the account (and costs) with friends or family members.

9. Buy Generic

People tend to buy from brands they know and trust. However, the only difference between many items is the brand name and packaging. Instead of the expensive brand name, buy generic.

This applies to medicine, makeup, staple food items, cleaning supplies, and paper products. Instead of the marked-up brand name, you can use generic to stick to your family budget.

10. Reduce Energy

While energy bills differ across the country, the average residential monthly electric bill was $111.67 in 2017. You can save money on your electric bill by making a few changes throughout your home.

For example, you can start taking shorter showers. You can also switch to LED lightbulbs or energy-efficient appliances.

11. Check for Discounts

One smart way to stick to your budget is by paying in cash. Allow a specific amount of spending money for yourself and family members each week. When you start spending, you’ll see that money physically disappear.

To hold onto your cash a little longer, ask about discounts. Instead of paying full price, you can find deals for students, teachers, and AAA members to save.

12. Try a Spending Freeze

Try to avoid spending for a week or two. A spending freeze can help you save money for an extended period of time. Prep meals from food you already have, avoid impulse purchases and watch your savings ramp up.

13. DIY

Before buying a new lamp or chair, see if you can fix it on your own. Sometimes, the cost of materials and a tutorial video is cheaper than a new product. Consider it a project that can help you save!

Making Money a Family Affair: 13 Essential Budgeting Tips for Families

With these 13 essential budgeting tips for families, you can save instead of spend! Try using these tips today and start adding money back into your account.

Need help negotiating your debt or defending yourself from a debt collector? Contact Guardian today for help from a dependable team of attorneys.