When you’re single and you only have yourself to clothe and feed, sorting out a budget can be relatively easy. However, as a parent with children to look after, things become a little more complicated. In this article, we will give you some tips for managing your family budget, advice that should help you make smart financial choices to better your family now, and in the future.
- Give yourself a financial checkup
What do you spend each month? How much money do you have coming in? Tally the two together to ensure you are living within your means. Despite the family essentials, there are ways you can save money each month, so if any expenses are pushing you to your limits, make cutbacks to ensure you can do more than ‘just survive’ each month on the income you have. Then make use of one of these helpful budgeting apps to help you bring your weekly and monthly finances to order.
- Sort out your emergency fund
When you know how much money you have spare each month, put some of it into an emergency fund. As you will know all too well as a parent, there is value in being prepared. The kids will need new shoes, your child will surprise you with a school trip he has suddenly remembered to tell you about, and there are other untold ‘emergency’ situations that will happen as a result of having kids. Of course, there are all those other things to have an emergency fund for, such as house repairs and car maintenance costs, so there are multiple reasons why you do need to put that money aside each month. Also, get comparing price deals on the essentials such as gas, electric, cable TV and so on. If you can save money here you will have more to put aside for those small emergencies.
- Clear your debts
The only reasonable-sized debt you need hanging over your head is your mortgage (if you have one), but any others, including credit cards, bank loans and the like need to be eliminated as soon as you can. By doing so, you will have more money to spend on your family, and there will be less tension in the house should your debts cause you and your other family members stress. Consolidate your debts onto a zero or low-interest credit card – see best.creditcard for options – or have a chat with your bank advisor for professional advice.
- Give your kids some money lessons
You love your children, but you have to admit, they can be a drain on your finances. While it’s only fair that you treat them once in a while, as well as providing them with life’s necessities, it’s still important your children learn the value of money. Hopefully, this will stop them pestering you every time you visit the supermarket, telling you that they ‘need’ to have the latest toy or the current fashion that their friends are wearing. There is an age-by-age guide here, so no matter how old your children are, there are ways you can teach them a better relationship with their/your money.
Money doesn’t grow on trees (another lesson for your kids), so you do need to get your finances in order. We hope our advice helped, and if you have any further tips that you have implemented at home, be sure to let us know.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.