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Budgeting with a Family

During these tough economic times, it’s never been as vital to create a family budget if you haven’t done so already. Whether it’s so you can save for that much needed family holiday, or simply get through the month out of debt, the time to start is now! 2013 has proven that the price of food, rent and fuel will continually rise from year to year, so every cent saved certainly counts.

When many people hear the word ‘budget’ they automatically freak out and picture their life soon becoming void of all the things they enjoy, but it certainly doesn’t have to be this way. Small lifestyle changes can make all the difference – starting with small amounts of every day savings which soon start to increase nicely. So where do we start?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net

Start with the outgoings

Actually starting your budget is the hardest part of the journey but once that’s finished and you have a clearly defined plan set in front of you, everything becomes a whole lot simpler. Start by writing a list of all of your families expenses. These could include mortgage payments, car payments and any utility bills. This will give you a clear idea of how much the ‘essentials’ will set you back each month, and where exactly the rest of your money is going. You’d be surprised to find that all those coffees and bought lunches really start to add up!

Look at how you shop

How we shop obviously has a massive impact on our monthly budgets. Although most people are embarrassed to go ‘discount shopping’ and use coupons, now is the time to get past the embarrassment and really start to take advantage. When you have hungry mouths to feed, weekly shopping can be unbelievably expensive. Here are some tips to save you money next time you’re at the supermarket;

-It’s important to keep in mind that supermarkets usually reduce their prices late at night, so this is the optimal time to go and stock up on the goods that can be frozen at reduced prices.

-Make sure to collect your coupons during the week so by the time you’re ready for your weekly shop, you can take full advantage. The discounts may seem small, but they do really add up by the end of the month!

-Most clothing stores and supermarkets now offer reward points as an incentive to keep shopping with them. These points can then be used towards paying for your goods at your next visit – take advantage!

Recognise your personal spending

This is usually the part that most people find the hardest. It’s lovely to start your work day with a coffee and go out for regular lunches with friends, but these payments really do add up. Just a coffee every day can add up to an extra $100 by the end of the month and $1200 yearly! Think of how else you could use that money and how much you could save. Good Morning America recently did a segment on budgeting and suggested naming your money to help better understand how you are using it. A slightly unconventional approach, but if it helps you to save then I’m all for it!

What are your tips for budgeting with a family?

 

 

About Jess

Jess hails from Sunny Australia and is the youngest of the frugal ladies. She loves shopping for a bargain, reading, watching movies and spends most of her life on the beach

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  • Budgeting is important! I have really mastered this being a SAHM – sales are a huge way!! 🙂

  • JadeLouise Designs

    We just started a new form of budgeting because what we were doing before just wasn’t working. we got an app on our phones that lets me and the husband both access the SAME data from our own phone, so we are always up to date on what is spent and where. It has been helping us a lot.
    So the biggest hurdle for us was merely making sure we were both on the same page and both knew at all time where the money was going and seeing that “oh we don’t have any more money in the gas fund, can’t fill up with gas today” type stuff.

  • Keeping on a budget sure can be challenging. There are those little day to day things that we overlook. A cup of coffee here… a magazine there. Never mind birthdays, parties and holiday spending! Thanks for these ideas!

  • I am all about discount shopping. For clothes and such, we hit all the discount stores and second hand stores in our area. For food and perishables we do the majority of our shopping at the clubs. I don’t do as well as I could with coupons, but I’m working on that.

  • Alecia @CSNY

    I like to shop through the year, that way I don’t end up needing a huge amount of money all at once

  • I could probably cut back on eating out, but now that it’s just my husband and I most of the time (my two boys have moved out and he has split custody of his own two), I find it hard to cook for two. However, I’m definitely not shy about coupons. Yep. I one of *those* shoppers, but sometimes, it really makes the difference between having enough… and not. We plan on moving back home to Florida in a few years. My New Year’s Resolution for next year will be to put coupon savings in a separate account to use towards our move.

  • Amy Desrosiers

    I always like to think of future needs, and events that may pop up. I put money aside for emergencies.

  • Pam W

    I think we could cut back on eating out. That would definitely save us some money.

  • Jennifer B

    These are excellent tips for anyone to help save money and get back on track with their budget!

  • Chrishelle Ebner

    Excellent budgeting tips. I agree now is not the time to be embarrassed about couponing. I proudly tell everyone how much I have saved with my coupon blogs. If it were not for being frugal there would be no money for the girls’ cheer expenses.

  • Cynthia L

    Great tips. I am always looking for new ways to save money. We use coupons, repurpose items and eat and have fun at home.

  • Deborah E

    Great, to-the-point post on budgeting. I like your emphasis, too, on understanding the personal shopping part of the equation.

  • Trisha D.

    We follow the simple policy of living within our means. We tend to ask ourselves, do we need this over that (like a new phone over going out to dinner once a month). Everything we do goes back to that basic principle.

  • brett

    if we can’t pay cash, we don’t buy it. period. we buy used cars only.

  • Francine Morrell

    We are on an all cash system now help wipe out our debt.

  • blm03

    KNow where you spend your money. People forget going out to eat costs a lot!

  • Katherine Bartlett

    We dont do credit cards at all

  • great tips! we live on a tight budget and only pay cash! we are debt free too!

  • Danyelle

    These are great tips to start out with!

  • TheNewClassy

    We lowered a bunch of our bills this year by looking at what we spend on our monthly bills. We ended up saving about $700 a month!

  • Mama to 5 Blessings

    I know all about this, we have 5 kids! Thank you for the tips!

  • Elizabeth @ Food Ramblings

    Thanks for the tips– I need to work on my budgeting skills!

  • We have been budgeting for some time now. We have set aside money to invest and we even end up with money to spend on luxuries.

  • Shannah at Just Us Four

    Budgeting can be tough but I think it is so important to create and maintain a solid financial future.

  • Danielle

    Recognizing personal spending is a hard one for us.