Personally, budgeting is one of my most boring and dullest activities on earth. However, to avoid debts then it suddenly becomes one of the most important things. Sigh! Luckily, with a few tips regarding proper budgeting for parents then this activity can become a little less tiresome. Below are some of the practical budgeting tips for parents to help you steer clear of money-management gloom.
Understand your budget
My goal is to always try and generate a good overview of my family’s expenses and incomes across a period of time. For instance, a 1-month snapshot is important, though there will always be some blips that will throw your careful planning efforts off-track in a heartbeat. Make sure to reflect some of these in your overview.
Month by month, over a 3 month period, list all the known fixed expenses separately from the variable ones. I have more control over those that change and it’s within this amount that I get the flexibility to save or find extra cash to cater for those blips.
Once you determine the total spending, it becomes even easier to develop a good basic monthly budget that speaks your current spending patterns more clearly. I then head over to weed out the desirables from the essentials. This enables me to clear off the non-criticals from the list. In this case, it’s important to understand that some other issues might crop up, for example prioritizing expenditure on clothing for school and work and whether extracurricular activities can be added to the list for the sake of your kids. This helps you prepare a budget that you can stretch and tweak when it’s necessary.
Prepare a spending plan
I stick to my family’s spending pattern assessment and our reality. Therefore, you want to
make sure you are in tandem with a budget that’s both feasible and best meets the needs of the entire family. I make sure there isn’t any slack in the budget so that I don’t have any problems down the road when planning to save, including holiday savings, retirement planning, or even cash for big home improvement projects.
If you feel as though some of these things won’t be covered by your income alone, then it’s time you started thinking along the lines of second jobs, overtime, etc.
There are few obvious and simple, but oh-so-easy to ignore tips that can help any unstable budget. In my case, I focus on fine tuning into our internal financial planner whenever I am considering any kind of expenditure, I first ask myself—how can I save money here? In order to shop smart, simply begin by preparing a weekly menu to help you avoid any unnecessary surpluses adding up.
Consider passing clothes down from one kid to the next. Go for less expensive brands, research for the best deals, avoid buying things you don’t really need, buy second hand and try to exploit online vouchers when a chance comes up.