Family Budgeting: 5 Useful Hacks for Handling All the Expenses
It can be hard for any family to keep a balanced budget with all the expenses we face today. Making sure your family has food on the table and a roof over their heads has always been challenging. With modern bills like cellphone plans and media-streaming services, like Spotify and Netflix, it means families are having to budget harder than ever before.
Here are some useful hacks that every family should know, to help them keep their budget balanced while still enjoying life’s perks like streaming HD movies and a vacation in the summer.
Make Lists and Stick to Them
If you go shopping without making a list, you are greatly increasing the chances of you overspending. Making a list, and sticking to it, will give you a chance to think about what you need and not be distracted by things that you want.
This tactic isn’t just for grocery shopping. As hard as it might be, if you go clothes shopping for the family with a strict list of what everyone needs, you can save hundreds of dollars a year on the family’s clothes budget alone.
Take Advantage of Free Samples
One of the best-kept secrets of thrifty families is taking advantage of free samples and special offers. Many manufacturers will literally give away some of their products in order to generate new customers or increase their product’s visibility.
There are websites that provide a constantly updated list of free samples of all kinds of products, many you will already be using in your home. Some of these offers will often make great gifts for birthdays and for the holidays.
Pack Lunches for Everyone, Not Just the Kids
Making box or bag lunches for the whole family is an old school money-saving trick that never gets old. It may be a lot easier to buy lunch at work or give the kids a few dollars for the cafeteria at school, but you will be paying extra for the convenience.
Packing lunches for the whole family can save you hundreds of dollars a year, and you can make sure every member of the family is eating healthily while you’re living your lives wealthily.
Never Go to the Grocery Store Hungry!
It makes a lot of sense that if you go to the grocery store on an empty stomach you are going to spend more than you need as your tummy will start making decisions for you. It is nice, relaxing and healthy to go for a stroll not long after eating a meal, so why not take a leisurely wander through your favorite grocery store after lunch?
If you go to the store on a full stomach, with a list for you to stick to, you will avoid making impulse purchases that can cost your family hundreds of dollars every year.
Try to Save, Not Spend
Whenever you are thinking about making a big purchase, like a new flat-screen TV or new furniture, you should ask yourself if you would be better off saving the money you are going to spend for a rainy day or even a vacation.
Big-ticket items can often be very tempting, especially if you are feeling the need to treat yourself and your family, but these purchases often are quickly followed with buyer’s remorse as the financial cost to your family budget seems to outweigh the benefits of your new toy. Try to save the money instead of spending it and put it towards a family vacation that will give everyone memories that will last a lifetime.
Hopefully, this quick guide will have given you some money-saving inspiration that you can use to save your family some money, and you can all get away to a vacation destination.