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Fundamental household budget tips for young families
Internet | 23 January 2018
Monthly expenses can be a burden for young families. Add a child into the equation, and it can become increasingly difficult to make ends meet.
On top of the bills you know you’ll have to pay each month, raising a child can bring a multitude of unforeseen expenses that stretch a family’s budget: new clothes, trips to the doctor, new school supplies, and so on. These small costs can add up and affect all aspects of your life.
When you barely have enough money to pay the bills and other regular expenses, saving money becomes an unachievable dream…
But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
The truth is, there are some ways to improve your situation, take control of your money, and put something extra in the piggy bank each month. Take a look at these tips that can help you reduce costs, manage your household budget better, and save some money.
1. Shop Smart
The first rule of budgeting: never go to the supermarket without a list.
By not having a clear idea of what you have to buy, you can end up with a lot of unnecessary items in your cart. Nobody’s saying not to treat yourself and your family, but an excessive load of groceries can take a toll on your budget.
Instead, plan out your meals for a few days and shop for the ingredients you need to prepare them. Write them down, including the quantities, so you don’t buy too much. It’s better to make more frequent visits to the store with a clear plan in mind than to go once a week and purchase everything.
2. Become A Bargain Hunter
Whether it be for groceries, clothes, electricity, or anything else you find yourself paying for on a regular basis, there are often bargains out there that you don’t know exist.
Being a bargain hunter doesn’t mean you need to give up all the things you love. For example, you may choose to keep up to date with the deals on an app such as Groupon, that allow you to take the family out for dinner on the cheap. Or it could be as simple as buying the CC’s instead of the Doritos because they are on sale.
If you keep your eye open for a better deal you will be surprised at how much money you can save over time.
3. Consider Refinancing
This one is a little more involved than the first two tips, but it’s an option that many young families don’t know they have available to them.
Do you have a debt with the bank? It may be a mortgage, a car loan, or simply a credit card debt that is eating into your budget with fees and high interest rates.
By looking into other financing options, you can look to consolidate this debt into a lower interest loan. For example, a different bank may give you a lower mortgage rate to take over the debt of your home loan. Or you might see an opportunity to switch credit card providers for a low or no interest deal.
Don’t just accept the debt and interest that you are paying currently, get creative.
4. Only Pay for the Services You Need
Your bills are piling up each month, but the money you have to pay might not be the result of what you consume, but a disadvantageous contract.
There are three primary services most families get: TV, telephone, and internet. Now, it’s vital to think about these services and ask yourself “am I getting my money’s worth?”
The fact is, you might be paying extra for something you don’t need, but since you’ve decided on a package when you signed the contract, you are stuck paying for unnecessary perks.
How many channels do you actually watch? Do you make a lot of international calls? How much data do you use? If you find that the plans you’re paying for don’t fit your needs, contact your provider and ask to get a different service package.
You might even let go of some services. For instance, you may find you don’t need a pay-television service if your internet provider lets you use streaming services like Netflix, which is a lot cheaper.
To Sum Up
Saving money can be a foreign notion to many people struggling to get by. Drastically changing your lifestyle, or entirely renouncing some services aren’t viable solutions, as most people won’t be able to see them through. The trick is to analyse your lifestyle and look at what you can do to reduce costs. Hopefully, these tips give you a head start.