Budgeting is one of those things that all people should do, but it’s also one of the easiest things to put off. After all, who wants to get down and dirty with spreadsheets when there are so many other things you could be doing? But the reality is that if you want to keep your family afloat financially, you need to budget.
According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, only 41% of adults have a budget. That means that most people are flying by the seat of their pants when it comes to their finances. And that is a recipe for disaster. So if you’re ready to get serious about your money, here are 6 budgeting hacks to help you get started:
Start with a plan
One of the best ways to keep your family afloat financially is to start with a budget. A budget can help you to track your income and expenses, so you can see where your money is going. It can also help you to set aside money for savings and debts. The key to making a budget work is to stick to it. Make sure to review your budget regularly and make adjustments as needed. Your plan should include all of your income, as well as your regular expenses. Make sure to account for things like groceries, gas, and entertainment.
Track your spending
It’s no secret that money can be tight, especially for families. Between groceries, bills, and unexpected expenses, it can be hard to keep up with your finances. One way to stay on top of your spending is to track where your money is going. There are a few different ways you can do this. You can use a budgeting app like Mint or EveryDollar or write down your expenses in a notebook. Whatever method you choose, tracking your spending will help you to see where your money is going and where you can cut back. This budgeting hack can be a lifesaver in keeping your family afloat financially.
Cut back on your expenses
As sad as it may be, there are some expenses that you can live without. If you want to free up some extra cash, consider your spending and see where you can cut back. For example, you might be able to save money on your grocery bill by eating out less often.
But if things are a little more complicated than it seems, you may want to reconsider sending your child to an expensive university. For instance, did you know that studying a bachelor of arts in psychology in the Philippines will only cost you $7,000 or less? That’s a fraction of what it would cost you to study the same course in the US. What’s great about it is that you can get the same education quality without spending a fortune.
Set realistic goals
One way to ease the financial pressure is to set realistic goals for your family’s budget. When you take a close look at your spending, you may be surprised to find that there are areas where you can cut back without making significant lifestyle changes. For example, if you typically eat out several times a week, try cutting back to once a week and putting the savings into your savings account. Or, if you have a subscription to a streaming service that you don’t often use, cancel it and put the money towards your mortgage or car payment.
Find creative ways to make extra money
You may not have much extra money to work with, but there are still ways to make ends meet. One way to do this is to find creative ways to make extra money.
One option is to sell items you no longer need. This could be anything from clothes to furniture to electronics. There are several ways to do this, including online marketplaces and consignment shops. Another option is to take on odd jobs or freelance work. This could involve anything from dog walking to yard work to tutoring. Whatever you choose, set aside the money you earn so you can use it to pay bills or build up your savings.
Talk openly with your family about money matters
Money is always a touchy subject, but it needs to be addressed head-on if you want to keep your family afloat. One of the best ways to do this is to have regular conversations about money matters. This doesn’t mean sitting down for a financial lecture every week but simply making it a point to talk about money openly and often. You can discuss your family’s budget, financial goals, and money-saving tips. This will help everyone be on the same page regarding spending and saving, and it can also help identify any potential financial problems before they become too serious.
The bottom line
Your family’s needs will always come first, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your financial stability in the process. You can use several budgeting hacks to keep your family afloat financially. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be on your way to financial success.