9 WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR FAMILY BUDGET

INTRODUCTION FAMILY BUDGET

A family budget is an evaluation of income and expenditure over a given period. Budgets can be prepared for a person, a group of people, firms, government, etc. Your family budget is the plan you have regarding your household’s income and expenditure. Budgets are required to manage one’s monthly or yearly expenses, avoid debts, and prepare for unforeseen circumstances. In addition, budgets help you keep track of how much is coming into and leaving the household.

Having a family and running a home is expensive, especially when you have kids. It involves many expenses such as housing, feeding, child care, and education. Budgeting for a family is not always easy because you have to put everyone into consideration and, at the same time, have control over the finances. Creating a family budget can be overwhelming, but it is essential to create financial restraints to curb unnecessary spending that can lead your family to problems. The primary aim of budgeting is to spend money below or within your monetary limit or capability. Hence, the following simple but effective ways below are the nine ways to reduce a family budget.

TRACK YOUR SPENDING HABIT

For you to be able to cut down your family budget, you need to figure out where the money is going. To have a clear view, it is better to track the expenses over a longer time, say, thirty or sixty days. That way, you will know how much you spend on items over a specific time, and you will be able to pinpoint what needs to be adjusted.

A method you can adopt is writing down every expense you make. It can be a cumbersome exercise, but this method is most effective when purchasing with cash. If you use cash to make purchases, make sure you collect receipts to make it easier for you.

If you make use of a credit or debit card, go through your bank statements to identify your family’s wants and needs. An effective way to go about this is to print out your statements and use markers or pens to highlight or mark the different types of spending. You can also group your family expenses under needs and wants headings.

Some financial institutions have a pie chart or graph on debit card accounts with spending categories that show how money is spent.

CREATE OR RE-EVALUATE THE FAMILY BUDGET

If you already have a family budget, the next thing is for you to restructure the budget. After tracking your spending habit, effect the appropriate changes to the budget. Separate the family needs from the wants. Stop buying things that the family does not need or use. Narrow your expenses to the things you need and be realistic with your budget. Determine your revenue, fixed monthly bills such as your rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance, car payment, etc., and your needs such as your gas, food, medical expenses, etc.

COOK AND EAT AT HOME

It can be exhausting preparing food at home instead of ordering a take-out after a stressful day at work. Food costs usually take a significant portion of a family’s budget. Preparing and eating meals at home instead of going out to eat can help to save costs. If you have no time to prepare food during the week, you can prepare the meals in advance on a weekend. This will save you cost, time, and trips to the grocery store. Another helpful tip is to buy your groceries in bulk.

Learn how to make coffee. Buying coffee every day can put a dent in the family’s pocket. It may seem like a small expense, but it will have a significant effect on the family’s purse in the long run.

If you do not know how to cook, then now is the time for you or your partner to learn how to prepare healthy meals. Think of it as an essential skill needed to be learned for the family’s daily survival. Search the internet for various free videos and tips on how to prepare several recipes.

SHOP WITH A LIST

If you go to the store without a detailed shopping list, you might end up purchasing more things than you would typically purchase or inadvertently buy the stuff you do not even need. Creating a shopping list is a simple habit that can reduce food expenses and the family budget as a whole. In addition, a shopping list protects you from impulse buying whenever you go to the store.

Set a shopping limit and adhere to it. If the item is not on the list, then do not buy it. This will save you from buying things on impulse. Also, resist the urge to give in to your kids to purchase exorbitant toys that the family cannot afford.

LOWER YOUR UTILITY BILL

The average household in America spends so much on electricity and other utility bills. Now is the time to let your kids know (if you have kids) to turn off electricity when not in use. Some of the things that help reduce the family budget include; not running the dishwater without a full load, turning down the thermostat, not leaving the computer running without anyone using it, etc. Another way to lower utility bills is to check which utility providers offer lower rates.

Other ways to reduce utility expenses are switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, purchasing energy star household equipment, installing a programmable thermostat, etc. Consider cheaper TV alternatives and do not subscribe to too many streaming services.

Finally, do not forget to choose a more reasonable cell service plan.

Also, many electricity providers offer links to users’ accounts to show how to lower costs. In addition, state government websites contain information about programs that help consumers change to more efficient heating systems.

RE-EVALUATE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION PLANS

Many people subscribe to many things they do not need or use, such as publications, streaming services or cable TV, weight loss programs, etc. Once you set up these accounts and subscribe to them, money leaves your account every month or year. Evaluate the amount of money and time spent on these services. Bring the family together and ask yourselves questions like;

Does the family really need this?

How often do we use this?

Can we live without this?

Are we squandering so much money on this item?

Is it worth having it around?

For example, if the family watches Netflix often and rarely watches cable, it is wiser to cancel the cable bill. After canceling the subscription, go to your email and unsubscribe to any regular advertisements or newsletters that come from that source.

AVOID USING CREDIT CARDS

Another way to lessen expenses when budgeting for a family is to pay attention to credit cards. Using credit cards can lead to massive debts because your balances can grow quickly and get out of hand, especially when the interest rate is high.

Another way to stop using credit cards is to freeze your cards. For example, you can put your cards in a container filled with water and put them in the freezer. Then, you have to defrost it whenever you want to use it.

If you do not want to go through that route, you can do it officially by stopping the credit cards temporarily by going to the issuer’s app or website and freezing it. But, of course, you will not be able to make purchases by doing this.

LOWER YOUR HOUSING EXPENSES

Housing is expensive, especially when you have to cater to a family. If you rent a home, you can consider moving to a cheaper apartment in your area or country. If you own a home, reduce your monthly mortgage payment, get rid of private mortgage insurance, rent out a portion of your house, etc.

LOWER YOUR TAX

When budgeting for a family, don’t neglect your taxes. Taxes should be considered when creating a family budget. Lowering the amount of money you spend on the government will give you more money to spend on other essential things around the home. In addition, setting aside money for tax-advantaged accounts helps to ensure that you will have available funds for future expenditures such as education, health care, and retirement.

CONCLUSION

One of the most challenging aspects of budgeting for a family is figuring out the best way to utilize the money for the family. Budgeting for a family is a great way to empower a household. Understanding the family’s present financial situation is essential in other to create and maintain a family budget. Lowering your household budget can be pretty challenging because you have to cut trivial expenses to make room for more important ones. Cutting off unnecessary expenses can be hard to do, but it is essential to lessen your family’s budget. Let the children know about the family’s budget so that they can stop making unnecessary demands that could put a strain on the family’s budget. Although, it might be challenging to achieve this if the children are toddlers. Do not forget that the main aim of budgeting is so that one does exceed the budget limit of the family.

Featured Articles

want more updates from this site?

Join the newsletter so you know what’s being posted

Smart Money Rich You logo