5 Quick Tips for Creating a Practical Family Budget

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piggiyKnowing where your money is going is essential becoming financially stable. Creating a family budget can be difficult when so many expenses seem to pop up out of nowhere, but it is possible. Here are five tips to help you establish a realistic budget that whole family can stick to.

1. Keep Track

The first step to creating a family budget is to find out exactly where your money is going. It can be shocking to see how much money is being spent on small, unnecessary items. A good bit of advice is to spend an entire pay period playing money detective. Keep every receipt and write down every single dime you spend during this period.

2. Cut Extra Spending

After gathering hard evidence of where your money is going, it’s time to get honest with yourself. Is there anything you are spending money on that could be cut out? Do not let this exercise induce guilt if you enjoy small luxuries. Money is only valuable if you can use it to purchase the things you truly do need and want. However, look at those things that aren’t as important and find ways to cut back. Instead of purchasing every new best-seller, use your library card. If you love movies, consider an in-home movie night rather than going out. Focus on simple things you can do that add more money to your budget without reducing your overall quality of life.

3. Save It

With any extra money you’ve found within your budget, start saving for annual items that can creep up on you like Christmas, a birthday or that pesky auto registration fee you have to pay every year. Keep this extra money in envelopes marked accordingly instead of leaving it in you bank account. This removes the temptation to spend it on something else.

4. Track Payment Due Dates

Keep on eye on payment due dates and set a reminder on your computer or phone for all revolving account due dates. Any credit account that’s close to its limit is at risk for a cascading event of fees that will push you over your limit. If you find yourself facing a situation where you cannot pay a bill before you are assessed a late fee, consider a cash advance, like cash advance San Antonio TX, to make the payment. This is preferable to being charged a late fee on an account, but be sure you can pay back the loan when it comes time.

5. Get Cheap

Finally, challenge yourself to find every item you need for the lowest possible price. Consider buying used items instead of new. Instead of hosting an elegant dinner party, invite your friends over for a potluck. For every expenditure you need to make, brainstorm about ways to do it for less and watch the pennies you save add up!

Author Bio

This article was written by Dixie Somers on behalf of Power Finance.

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  1. I’ve been seeing more and more about using envelopes laely, and I think I will try it

  2. Sylvia Zajis says:

    I am really wanting to get started on a savings plan this year. I have never been able to take my family on vacation and I really want to for Christmas time. Thank you for the helpful information.

  3. Danielle Whitfield says:

    Not having a family budget and savings really put our family in a jam this past winter when I had to resign from my job due to medical expenses and my husband being a stay at home dad, really put us in a bad position. We have been really lucky that we have family that has been so helpful with our bills, or we would have been living in a car in a parking lot with next to no gas.

  4. Rebecca Wood says:

    My fiance and I are really trying to get a hold on our spending, and these tips seem really helpful. I hadn’t actually thought about just saving all the receipts for a pay period to figureout where the money goes. I feel silly for that now because it’s seems like common sense, but oh well! I feel like that would help a lot.

  5. Linda Hall says:

    I have tuned up my budget after reading this post. There were some things I was missing and the post filled in the blanks. Thank you.

  6. Our family has gotten better at this over the last year or so, but we still could do a lot better. We stopped getting cable for 80/month and instead subscribe to hulu plus and netflix for a total of 16/month and we get almost all of the same shows that we watched before.

  7. Chrystal D says:

    These are some great tips! I love shopping at thrift stores too. I’ve found clothes with the tags still on them for a lot cheaper than what I would have paid for them in stores!