Family Budget - How To Set It & Stick To It
There are many ways in which a family budget can
be utilized and maintained. Write down the family
expenses and income. Decide where you can eliminate some
of the more expensive items you buy.
Here are some suggestions:
* Buying groceries in bulk
* Use coupons whenever possible
* Buy grocery items on sale
* Buy generic products in supermarkets and drug stores
* Keep the lights off when not at home
* Use energy saving appliances, such as air conditioners
and refrigerators, etc.
* Keep the room temp at your home at the minimum level
* Cut up all credits cards, except one
* Call credit card companies and ask for lower interest
* Pay for cash as often as possible
* Put money into a CD account
* Buy savings bonds
* Invest your tax refund in an educational IRA
* Put all of the change youíve accumulated at the end of
the day into a large glass jar
* Walk more often, rather than driving
* Talk to a financial consultant to determine if your
budget is appropriate to your income
Once you have set a family budget, you have to stick
to it religiously. Try not to borrow any money
unless absolutely necessary. If you do take out a home
equity loan, shop around for the best interest rate.
Keep your home and furniture in good condition; the last
thing you need when on a budget is to have to expend
additional dollars for home improvement.
There are several online sites who offer savings deals
with online merchants; offer coupons for different
supermarket items; and certainly if you need to buy
something always check eBay first. When shopping for
clothes and footwear; choose clothing warehouses or
inexpensive stores to save money. By the way, they do
offer brand named items for less.
If these are not available in your area, the major
stores always have sale days every week. For Christmas,
begin shopping in February Ė when sales are aplenty.
Start a new tradition by buying your kids one expensive
gift, as opposed to many. You can also give them items
they can use for school as well as accessories they can
For college bound kids; shop online for books. Most
college bookstores are very expensive. Save where you
can by purchasing used books. Check out the many
financial aid services being offered, as well as Federal
loans. As mentioned above, utilizing the ESA or the 529
Plan may be to your advantage.
Go to dollar stores to buy incidental items for your
home. They also have apparel which you can purchase for
your younger kids, as well as school supplies. Or visit
Costco or BJís wherein you can buy in bulk, and save.
WalMart is another place where you can save money as
well. Payless offers you unique savings on shoes and
sneakers. Instead of buying the more expensive cell
phones with unnecessary cameras and text messaging, look
into family plans which offer phones for free.
Call your telephone company regularly to determine if
there are special rates being offered. If you have cable
or satellite; determine what you can cut down on in that
area. Some cable companies, as well as telephone
companies, are now offering a three-in-one service;
cable TV, phone and internet service. Check to see if it
is cost effective for you to use this service.
Remember too, as parents, we have to insure we have the
best possible health and insurance coverage available.
The last thing we ever want to do is burden our children
with added expenses when we become old. Look into term
and whole life insurance.
Research different companies and determine which
coverage meets the needs of you and your family. The
same holds true for auto insurance. Scout around;
perhaps you can save on your current coverage by
switching to another company. If you have an old car;
you will no longer need to pay for collision damage.
Budgeting isnít easy; but it is necessary in todayís
economy. No matter how hard we work, we never seem to
make ends meet. However, if we budget early on; set a
realistic and reasonable goal for our families; it can
make all the difference in the future of our children
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