As the cost of having a family with kids continues to rise sharply, parents simply have no choice but to explore various ways to increase their income and lower their expenses in order to make the ends meet. Some of the changes that need to be implemented are more radical than others, but there is no alternative. Kids need clothing, food, shelter and education and many parents can’t afford anything more than that.
So, is there a way to provide everything your family needs without putting unnecessary stress on the lives of everyone involved? Yes, but it’s important that the whole family is onboard with the changes and that everyone is doing their bit. Let’s take a look at some steps that can help you make smart family budget decisions.
1. Start with a budget
You can’t be in control of your finances unless you track all the income and expenses. Without having relevant information, you can’t make informed and sensible decisions regarding your finances. Once you have a clear picture of your financial situation, you can start exploring the opportunities to either make some savings or increase your income.
2. Plan for the future
A family budget should not only cover current expenses but also envisage future ones. One of the most important obligations for parents is to provide quality education to their kids and you need to start planning for that well before your kid leaves home to study.
The more you manage to save, the less you’ll have to borrow later, which will help both you and your kid during the time at college. You know that investing in education is one of the most profitable investments you can make, and you shouldn’t miss out on this opportunity.
3. Control expenditure on food
Believe it or not, you can save a lot by controlling your spending on food. Never go shopping without a shopping list and stock on the food that can last longer on the shelves in your pantry. Get a brand new spree credit card, which will provide some cashback for each purchase you make at specific outlets and you’ll be able to save even more. If you occasionally eat out, choose the restaurants that offer free meals for kids. Look at the products that are on sale and build your weekly menu around it.
4. Try to make extra cash
Luckily, there are quite a few options for you to improve your budget without having to sacrifice much of your time or leave home. If you have certain skills that you’d like to share with others, consider becoming an online tutor. Alternatively, you can do popular paid surveys online, where you’ll be rewarded for your honest opinion. The best thing about working from home is that you can regulate the amount of work and working hours so that they don’t interfere with your family time much.
5. Plan your travels and vacation
You may not be able to afford family trips to some distant and exotic destinations, but it doesn’t mean you should stay put and never leave home. Family trips are great because they strengthen the bonds between family members and allow everyone to experience something new. Look at the options of visiting places near your home, which are bound to offer something worth the trip. After all, the most valuable benefits of a family vacation are memories and the time you spend together.
6. Pay off your debts
Try to create a plan for getting out of any debts you may have, including mortgage and credit card debts. You won’t be able to do it quickly but having a plan in place will ensure that you won’t get into more debt and that you’ll be able to pay off your debts as planned. Ideally, you should tackle the high-interest debts first, since you’ll be able to relieve the stress that comes with being in debt.
7. Lower your taxes
The tax deadline date is one of the most dreaded dates. Still, it doesn’t have to be the case when it comes to you and your family. Re-evaluate whether you’re doing everything you can to avoid paying more than necessary. Are you using the right filing status? Are you familiar with current tax rules? If you’re not sure, consult an expert who might be able to help you pay only what you are obliged to pay.
Having a family is a bliss that many often don’t appreciate enough. Still, it’s very difficult to live under constant stress because you’re not sure how you’ll cope financially with all the expenditure involved. However, if you make some smart decisions budget-wise and practice moderation in your life, you’ll see how the quality of life improves and you’ll realise all the changes have paid off.