It’s not unusual to go into slight panic mode, when the cost of raising children kicks in and puts a hole in your budget. Depending on your circumstances, family money management is different for everyone. However, to stay on track, the general goal is really just to stay on top of budgeting.
Here are some tips to do just that.
Take the stress out of family finances, by staying on top of budgeting.
Understanding your expenses
It’s crucial to have an overall view of the bigger picture, in terms of the things you need, the things you want and unforeseen circumstances, when you’re a new parent. Obviously, it’s important to stick to spending less than you earn to get on top. However, it’s impossible to do this without first understanding your expenses.
Don’t overcomplicate it. Instead, simply get started by listing how much money you need for each of the essentials you must cover, and go from there. These include housing, food, utilities, medical services, transport and an emergency fund. Once you have the fundamentals covered, you take most of the stress out of budgeting. There are plenty of apps and tools online to help you do it, and track your expenses as you go.
Find cheap or free entertainment alternatives to reduce expenses.
Reducing your expenses
You might be surprised how quickly you can increase your savings.
After that, you need room in your budget to spend money on the things you want. A savings account is key. You might be surprised how quickly you can increase your savings, by reducing your current expenses even by a small amount. Get your thinking cap on and take a good look at things like:
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Your home loan. Seek professional advice to work out the best option for you.
Credit card and debt interest. Again, professional financial advice helps.
Infrequently used subscriptions or memberships.
Energy consumption and how you can reduce it, along with the bills.
Transport expenses and more cost-effective options.
Grocery expenses, impulsive shopping habits, eating out and takeaway food.
Cheap or free entertainment alternatives.
Delving into your expenses helps you identify spending habits that aren’t necessary, in order to prioritise the essentials and the things you truly enjoy. With knowledge and complete transparency with regard to your spending, that slight panic won’t get a chance to throw you off track with your family finances.