There is nothing wrong with tightening your budget, especially when it ensures your children of having a financially set future. Below are some tips on how to get your finances straightened up so you can put the worries of money behind you.
Tips For Getting Your Finances In Order:
Create a budget. Sit down and map out what you and your family spend on a regularly, then compare that to the money coming into the home. Try to get as close to the real numbers as possible instead of an estimate for a more accurate budget.
Plan ahead for holidays, birthdays and other events or occasions. There is no better time then now to start getting your money situation in order then now! For holidays, jot down exactly who you need to buy for and figure out how much you would like to spend on each person in total. This works well for birthdays too. If you know you have future engagements such as weddings and other events, start putting a little money aside each week the second you find out that you will be attending something.
Rainy Day Money VS. Emergency Money. Rainy day money is money that you can be used towards something fun and/or little whether planned unexpectedly or not. Emergency money set aside because you never know when you might need in a pinch unexpectedly.
Rainy day money: It is a great idea, especially for family’s that receive their paychecks bi-weekly, to put some money aside per paycheck (if they can) to give themselves a little cushion for the future. This money could even go towards a planned family day out, dinner, bowling, or whatever else the family likes to do together.
Emergency money: This is NOT your rainy day money. This is your “just in case the car breaks down, refrigerator stopped working, random doctors appointment” money. This money should only be used in case of an emergency and nothing else.
Start an automatic savings plan. Designate a certain amount in from every paycheck to be automatically pulled and put into a savings account. Invest in savings account that increases with interest like ING DIRECT. ING DIRECT also offers a kids saving account too! There is a user name and log in for the kids to go on and see what happens to their money once it is moved into their account. The kids savings account is a great way to get your children involved in their own finances and learn the value of a dollar at a young age.
Look into a retirement plan. If you do not already have one, you should definitely look into some sort of plan for retirement to help you save for the future.
Ask yourself, “Am I paying for something I no longer use?” This can be anything from a gym membership to a movie rental program like Netflix. You will be surprised if you look hard enough what you might find you are still paying for that you do not use or take advantage of anymore.
Shop around, compare and switch companies if needed. Call your utility providers and see if there is any way to take some money off your current statement or lower the price of what you are paying. I have actually heard of some companies providing “rough times” pricing due to the economy where they try to give the consumer a small percentage off their bill to help them in these financial times.
Enter a debt repayment program if you are in fact, in debt. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to get out and stay out of debt, especially if it is weighing heavily on you. Shop around for a debt re-payment program in your area that can help you pay off you debt once and for all and live a debt free life. Little by little each month makes a difference.
Coupons, coupons, coupons! Coupons are you friend! By using a coupon or taking advantage of a promotional deal, that does NOT make you cheap, in fact it makes you a smart consumer. Why pay full price for something if you don’t have to?
Invest in a small side job that you love. Maybe there is something you would like to do from the comfort of your own home to make a little side spending money. This could be selling old items on eBay or even creating and selling a product on Etsy or Fiver. Either way, if you have the time, make turn this into something fun. This should not be over whelming or stressful and who knows, maybe this will become your new career!!
Cut back on non-essential items you may not need at the moment. I am always the first one to say it is okay to treat yourself from time to time, but why waste money on things you can either do or make at home. A good example of this is coffee. Invest in a good coffee machine and you will notice the extra spending cash in your wallet after a while when you continuously make coffee at home. You can also invest in a reusable coffee cup that’s good for the environment and good for your wallet.
Be sure to check back for more tips and tricks at A Lot On Your Plate!