Families are expensive and it seems that these days the trend is for it to be becoming more so. So it’s of vital importance to be on top of the family finances and there are a few different ways you can look at and adjust your financial behavior for the better.
Have A Plan For The Week/Month
One of the easiest ways to let spending get out of hand is to not have a set plan for spending. If you are just spending as you go then you won’t be aware of the areas you are overspending on. You should have a grocery budget and be careful of not making lots of extra impulse buys that are unnecessary, it’s also a good idea to do the same for your social life, set yourself a ‘pocket money’ budget and you’ll be amazed at how much more you can have left over after doing this.
Get In The Habit Of Saving
If you have managed to successfully budget like this then you should start having a surplus at the end of each week or month. So what to do with it? It’s good to get in the habit of saving, both for the short and long term. This gives you a buffer for when tough times arise, such as job loss, or in the event of an unexpected expense, such as the boiler or white goods breaking down. It’s also important for those long-term ones such as your retirement or the children going away to study.
Make Sure You Have All The Relevant Insurances In Place
It’s not just putting money aside that protects the family but it’s important to have the correct insurance protection in place. For policies such as home insurance make sure everything is covered and it’s for both home and contents, make sure your car insurance covers things like replacement vehicles and legal costs and it is always good advice to check life insurance as if it’s not been checked in a while then you may be covered for a lower value than your current outgoings, and these days it’s easy to switch life insurance policy online.
Teach Your Children The Value Of Money
If you are getting into good habits yourself then it’s important to do the same for the kids. If you set them a pocket-money budget that they have to earn through doing chores in the house then it really teaches them the value of earning and spending their own money. There are even a few good smart-phone apps that can help you monitor this.
Identify Savings & Wasted Purchases
A useful exercise is to examine your bank statements carefully and identify wasted purchases, especially those that are coming out on recurring monthly payments such as gym memberships and subscriptions to publications or media services such as video streaming services. It’s surprising how much we sign up to things that would be a good saving if we used the service regularly but just becomes a drain when we don’t.