Life is full of expenses. Family, house, car, groceries, education, recreation, the list goes on. With all of the costs life throws at us, it’s no wonder families often find themselves in a financial struggle. It may seem unobtainable to maintain a family with all of life’s expenses and still live securely, however, it can be done. Here are some top ways families can live financially smart and avoid falling in and out of debt.
Create & Maintain a Strict Budget:
First and foremost, you must create a budget and stick to it! Take time to sit down with your spouse or significant other and lay out all of your weekly & monthly expenses and separate the necessities from the luxuries. Putting it all out on the table may help you to realize exactly how much wiggle room you have and what extra spending habits need to go. Once you have your budget set, record your spending each week or month to keep you on track.
Cut the Fast Food:
It may not seem like much, spending $20 to order take out a few times a week, but after a while these expenses can add up tremendously, especially for families. Cut the fast food and take a trip to the grocery store. Plan your meals out before hand to avoid spending more than you should and keep them simple with few ingredients and minimal stress.
Find the Best Deal:
No matter what you’re shopping for, home insurance, cable and internet, or gym memberships, take the time to look around. With so many options out there, you can take your time comparing prices rather than jumping at the first opportunity you see. Why spend $100 on a family gym membership when you could spend $75?
Choose Automatic Payment Methods:
If you have the opportunity to have your bills withdrawn automatically from your accounts each month, take it! That way, you will never forget to pay the bills and avoid late fees too. This will also help you to monitor your spending each month and help you evade frivolous shopping on non-essential items.
Have Fun for Free:
There are plenty of ways to have some family fun without breaking the bank! For example, if a normal outing for your family is taking a trip to the movies where you end up spending mass amounts of money on tickets, popcorn, drinks, candy, etc., opt for a free outdoor movie or rent from Redbox for $1 instead! Buy your own snacks from the grocery store and turn your home into your own kind of movie theater with blankets, pillows and pajamas too. This can be just as- if not more- fun for the kids. Check your local newspaper or the internet for free family fun happening in your community as well.