Supporting a family is tough enough, but having a well thought out plan and a budget will help your dollar stretch further. In order to survive the economic crunch happening in today’s age, you will need to look closely at your finances. Spending more than you bring in per month is a bad practice, especially for those who have a family. This article will help you tackle the management of your family’s finances.
First and foremost, if you don’t already have one, create a budget. For those who don’t know what a budget is, it’s simply a financial plan where you break down and assign money to specific monthly bills, savings, etc. For example, you may be eyeing that leather recliner chair for your home office, but you’ll definitely want to budget for that if you only have a few hundred dollars left at the end of the month.
There are many types of budget systems available today that you can easily research online for free. Among the most popular are the “envelope method” and free budgeting websites which manage your spending by keeping track of your expenditures via your bank account. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t have to pay for a budget, and that most budget plans can be researched online for free. Once you find a budget plan that you feel you can integrate into your family lifestyle, start on it immediately.
When making your budget plan, make a needs list and a wants list. Needs are things like food, a place to live, etc. Wants are things like cable television, or a new car. It is also a good idea to make sure that your needs list is not over inflated. You could for instance, buy a used car compared to a brand new one.
After you have figured out what your needs are and what your wants are, focus on paying for your needs first, and keep your wants secondary.
Take a look at what you bring in monthly and compare it to your monthly spending. This is called your income to debt ratio. Asses whether you are spending more money than you bring in per month. If the total in your needs list is higher than your monthly income, then it is time to find a second job, or re-evaluate your “needs” list. If you find that your income covers your needs list, then start looking at a savings solution for your wants list.
Credit, may be a necessary evil in today’s society but you should do your best to make sure that you use credit sparingly. Try to pay off your credit card balances before the end of your monthly billing cycle to avoid the stiff interest rates that credit cards charge. Doing so will make your credit score soar, and save you some money too!