Whether you have a small family or a large one, there are always going to be times when money is tight. You can make these times a lot easier when you have the right tools to work with in order to better manage your finances. There are certain tips and tools that every family should have, and they are not just for people who have lots of money to invest. These tips and tools are for the average family that wants to keep their heads above water and be able to live comfortably. Here are some of the best money-management tips and tools for every family.
– The first thing you need to do is sit down and create a realistic budget
. This needs to include any financial resources that you already have (savings, income, etc), what you currently spend (including bills, groceries, rent/mortgage, and unnecessary expenses), and what you owe. Once you have all of this down on paper, you can start figuring out how to go about making a budget that works and still leaves you with a bit of money to play with at the end of the month (which you should save if you can).
2. Sell Things
– A great way to bring extra money into the household is to sell things you no longer need. Someone else gets something they want or need, you get rid of it, and you get money to spend on whatever you want to spend it on. There are websites you can use where you will make more money, especially if you are going to sell laptop
or other big ticket item.
3. Make Cutbacks – It may be that once you take a look at your budget, you will need to cut back on some things. Obviously, the first things to cut back on are the unnecessary expenses, such as take-out meals, extra treats for the kids, etc. Some families even take drastic measures and cut out cable for a few months. You can save up to $800 just by not having cable for six months. Take a look at your general spending category of your budget, and see what you can eliminate to have more money.
4. Set Spending Limits – If you share the bills with a partner, it is a good idea to set spending limits. For instance, if you have a joint bank account, come to an agreement about how much each other can spend without informing the other. Giving each person in the family, including yourself, an allowance is a great way to cut back on the extra spending and save money.
5. Use Envelopes – One great way to control your spending is to set up envelopes or files certain bills, rent, entertainment, etc. and put the money for each thing in the envelope that is marked for it. This makes it a lot easier to get bills paid and not spend money needlessly, because you already have everything that has to be paid taken care of.
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- Mint - Create a budget, track and pay bills, check your credit score, and more, using a tool that will be personalized just for you.
- Every Dollar - Sign up for free and use this tool to create a budget that is proven to work, and tips on how to stick to that budget.