Below are some tips to help us be better stewards as a family with the money that God provides.
Family Money Saving Tips
Every family should have a budget, no matter what their financial status is. A budget tells you exactly how much your have coming in, and how much goes out on a monthly basis for the absolute necessities like housing, food, utilities, insurance, transportation and health care. But what about the future?
That’s another place where a budget comes in handy. When you’ve allotted a portion of the household’s weekly income to the necessities, what’s left over is your discretionary spending amount. These are the funds available to you for short-term expenses, or long-term investments, like your children’s education, and your own retirement funds.
When the children are growing and requiring more in the way of expenditures, there might not be a lot left over. But even 5% of your income can be a healthy start on an education fund. Extras like bonuses or perhaps half the amount of a raise, will make those future savings grow. Since they aren’t in the budget to start with, they won’t be missed, and you’ll still have a portion of the unexpected income to add to your regular budget.
Consider financial counseling at your banking institution, or from a professional. They are often the best sources for learning how to get the most out of the dollars you have to save, and the most out of the future benefits they are going to earn for you.
Curbing Impulse Buying
One of the best ways to stay on track with your family’s budget, is to curb impulse buying. Many people do this without even realizing it, and then wonder what happened to that careful planning that was supposed to balance income and bills.
The most common place that people impulse buy, is at the grocery store. A good rule of thumb is never to go shopping when hungry. Almost anything looks good when you haven’t had a meal recently, and you’re more likely to give in the appeal of a display or “special” for things that you might not buy otherwise. Go shopping with a list and your coupons. Don’t sabotage yourself by giving in to cravings or convincing yourself that you deserve a treat.
On the other hand, treats should be written into the family budget, whether those are food items, or an entertainment expense. Financial budgeting is much like dieting for calories. If you continually deny yourself all the good stuff, or the things that you like best, you’re more likely to rebel and go overboard by gorging or spending to excess.
And of course, the classic safeguard against impulse buying is to ask yourself if you really need it. Don’t stand there and argue with yourself, and try to rationalize the purchased. If you can’t honestly answer “yes” immediately, turn and walk away. If you really do need the item, it will still be there when you’ve considered your financial state and whether you can afford it.
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Do you have any good tips for families trying to budget and save money? Please respond to this post or email them to me! Lara@momsoffaith.com