It may not be glamorous or fun, but setting a budget for your family and your finances is really important, especially as a new year has just started. Priorities change, new things will need money to be spent on, and the family situation can change from time to time. So if you haven’t been creating a budget for a long time, then it can help to take some time to do it now. What are the best ways to go about it, though? Here are a few tips and tricks to help.
Keep It Simple
If you’re not much of a computer whizz and the thought of a spreadsheet and all its calculations can stress you out a little bit, then it will put you off doing it. And what is wrong with having a good old pen, paper, and calculator? If that is what works best for you, then go with it. Any excuse for a new folder and notebook, right?
Set a Goal
The goal could be to just not go into your overdraft each month. But really, if you want to get on top of your finances, then it makes sense to set a goal. Will it be to set aside money each month for the kid’s college fund? Do you want to save for a trip to Disney, for example? Or would you rather pay off your mortgage or clear any debts? Setting yourself a goal is the best way to have something to work towards, and the other things, like bills and groceries can be decided out of the rest.
Plan For Emergencies
With children, you never know what you will need some money for. So making some of your budget for an emergency fund is a good idea. It could be an emergency dentist trip or a new sofa that needs to be replaced after it gets broken. So whatever it is, having some savings is a good idea. Plus, as your children get older, their needs can become more expensive, which is where a site like guarantor.loan could come in handy. If you need a small loan to cover the gap, then a guarantor loan could be the route to go down. If you’ve planned well, then you shouldn’t need to use it, though.
Pay Off Debt
It can be hard to set aside any money if you have debt to pay. It makes sense to clear off debt and pay no interest, rather than only paying small amount each month and then spending more on groceries. So look at a few things that you can make cutbacks with. It could be groceries, it could be school trips, or it could be vacations and things you do socially. A few small sacrifices can make a difference when it comes to clearing your debt.
Do you have a budget as a family that you all stick to? According to lifehacker.com, if your children are older then including them in some of it can help them to understand just how hard money is to come by and will help them to appreciate you, and money, more.