Being the one in-charge of formulating the family budget, chances are, you already had the unlikely experiences of having a magnificent budget plan that was not executed too well. Don’t worry though, you are not alone. Things like these happen to many other families and couples as well. With minor adjustments in your budget formula and some cooperation and help from your family, the budget will work as it is.
Try to formulate a goal or a vision for the family budget. Have a chat with your spouse and children about whatever budgetary hindrances you are facing, or whatever financial expectations you intend to set. Honesty plays a great role on this. By being truly honest about the expenses, bills and/or loans you have to pay, or your goals to save a certain sum of money for the family emergency fund or a college fund maybe. Your family’s understanding on your budget goals can help a lot. This will create awareness for saving money and thus change their perspective on any purchases they make even without your around. Because they understand the family budget goals, whatever money crunching techniques you implement won’t be counter-acted by a mere shopping spree by your teenage children.
Creating a list of expenditures per family member is also a good strategy. To do this, you have to identify which household items you can do away with, in order to save up some spare money from the monthly payslip. By doing the brainstorming together, each and everyone in the family is able to lend a hand by expressing their ideas about it. Every little idea counts. A single cent saved is also a great contribution. Doing this together makes you see that everybody’s effort can actually contribute into making your family’s finances better.
Does your child have the habit of always asking for money for those little petty items? I’m am not telling you to refuse. Just check those items if they are really necessary. If not, then just explain the family budget to him and explain on how it really works for the family as a whole. Don’t worry, your child will understand and would even exert the effort to help you with it.
Set a maximum amount of weekly expenditures you can should make. It’s not that difficult actually. Just set aside a fixed amount of cash that you will be spending for one whole week. With this limitation in place, you are forced to spend the money to the most important and essential items that you would need.
Saving money can be made easy for the family.
Dining out with the whole family every Friday night? Or how often? It’s great to dine out, most especially in on fancy restaurant. But take note, dining-out comes with outrageous reasonable price tags. Most family budgets got totally busted because of dining out frequently. There is an easy way around this though – home dining. Eating at home greatly reduces your expenses. And on top of that, family bonding by cooking the dishes together is great outcome as well.
Check out your routine home expenses and reduce them. A good example is : coffee. Should it always be from Starbucks? Or should it always be latte? Why don’t you do a cut-back and buy a 3-in-1 sachet instead. A little money save helps. If you pile them up, it’s a great savings already. Another example is : newspaper. Do you really need it everyday? Can you cut it back to 3 newspaper deliveries in a week? Or, better yet, why don’t you just go to a newsstand and rent it for a few cents cheaper. It’s the same info anyway.
And here’s one more…. Take the courage to create the most cost-efficient driving route. Group all your schedules and activities together so that you can accomplish them all in just one trip. With this, you are able to save a lot of time, some petrol money and car expenses.
After a few months of doing this, observe. You’ll see, a simple family budgeting affair is turned into a the family’s collective money saving strategy! The results will surely give you a pleasant surprise!