If you find yourself always asking your spouse, where did our money go this month? Where did it go yesterday? Then you absolutely need a budget!
Creating and sticking to a budget is something that is believed to be difficult, but really, it basically just requires the desire to not be broke and drowned in debt.
When you decide to start making healthy financial choices, you will eliminate debt, save money, improve your state of mind and decrease your overall monthly expenses. You will definitely have the answers to those nasty “where did my money go” questions.
Learning how to purposefully budget, and manage my money, saved my life. 2 years ago, I was drowning in student loans debt; as a result, I couldn’t qualify for a house loan.
It wasn’t until I started being purposefully with saving and budgeting that I was able to pay off my debts and qualify for a really good loan.
Taking control of your financial situation is very important, and the only way to do that is to budget. Budgeting makes you aware of how much you are spending and what you are spending on.
You don’t have to be the “numbers crunching guy” to start budgeting and saving. There are apps like Mint and You need a Budget that will do all the hard work for you. Or if you just love to be manual, you can always start creating your budget in an excel spreadsheet on your computer, or event just handwrite it the old fashion way.
Here are 7 ways to manage your family budget
Gather your Monthly Expenses
The first steps to living on a budget require writing down all your monthly expense. This includes all the bills you pay on a monthly basis such as cable, internet, rent, car note, car insurance, utilities etc.
Then gather all your financial documents that accurately depict your current financial situation. For example, paycheck stubs bank statements. Everything that can tell you where your money is going, and coming from.
This step you have to do once because after gathering everything, you will have a pretty good idea of what exactly you are making each month, to create a frugal budget for your family.
Creating a budget is great because it allows you to see where you have un-necessary spending that you can cut out (maybe that every Friday happy hour).
If you don’t create a budget, then you are winging it, and let me tell you from experience, you literally cannot remember everything you’ve spent your money on by the end of the week, let alone, by the end of the month.
Set Your Family Financial Goals:
When your family lives paycheck to paycheck, the idea of saving money seems like an abstract goal. Just the way you have to be purposeful with budgeting, you have to be 2x that with saving.
There was a time that I couldn’t save money even if my life depended on it. I would always find an excuse to dip into it and use most, if not all of the “saved up” money.
But when you make up your mind and set a financial goal- for example tucking away money for retirement, or for your child’s college fund or even for a family vacation, you have won half the battle.
Some of the ways you can free up more money to save monthly are by working on reducing your monthly light bill (frequently turn off the lights, and avoid leaving your fridge open), cutting off cable and just switching to just internet. Use Netflix or Hulu (definitely a life changer!) etc.
Save Money While You Shop
When it comes to saving while you shop, Honey is the app for you! Honey-applies every promo code on the internet, to your shopping cart. Yes! it’s awesome.
Say bye bye to manually searching for coupons. Honey does the search for you and adds all relevant coupons to your cart before you pay, so you can save some serious $$$$$ at checkout.
I mostly shop online. I can’t remember the last time I walked into a clothing store, so Honey is MY Bestfriend. It takes away the added step of me searching for coupons on retail me not before purchasing my order.
Honey takes care of all that beautifully! click here to download Honey and start shopping happy.
Get Out of Debt
Being in debt is overwhelming. Seeing those bills overflowing from your mailbox is a nasty sight. Create a realistic debt management plan to help you pay off all your debts. The only way you can stick to a debt management plan is if it is realistic, so make sure it is something that can be woven into your frugal budget. The purpose of your budget is to help you identify where you have un-necessary expenses so you can cut them off and use that money to pay off your debts.
Look out for unexpected financial Emergencies:
A financial crisis is known to bring high stress to the most financially stable families. Establishing an emergency fund will help you build up savings and be ready for emergency expenses. One of the ways to do this is to invest in life insurance and a will. This will make sure your family is good and free from financial hardship if something unexpected happened to your spouse.
Save on your groceries
Drastically reduce your monthly food expense with a well-planned food budget. Save money on groceries by meal planning in advance before stepping into the supermarket. To help you stay in routine, put a meal plan pad with a magnet on your fridge door, that you can use all the time.
If you have trouble meal planning, then try out $5 Meal Plan. They send meal plans directly to your email, and it is my absolute favorite.
I travel quite often for work, and when I’m back, my meal planning is always out of whack. After looking for solutions online, I came across The $5 Meal Plan through other bloggers recommendation and it has been a game changer for me. It’s only $5 a month (the first two weeks are free), and you get meal plans sent straight to you along with the exact shopping list you need in order to create the meals. Each meal costs around $2 per person or less. It has allowed me to save time because I don’t have to meal plan anymore, and it has saved me money as well! If you are interested in joining for free, click here
Another meal planning service I have been using for a while is The Dinner Daily. I love it because it customizes healthy recipes based on my preferences from the stores I actually shop at. I love that my weekly dinners are deliciously easy, healthy and affordable. It is great for me and my boyfriend, so I’m sure it is awesome for busy moms who don’t have time to cook a healthy dinner every night, especially during the week.
With these 2 meal planning service, I save over $1,200 a year or more on grocery costs!
Think outside the grocery store, and also utilize Kids eat free meals at restaurants, it is a budget-friendly option that gives you a break from the kitchen without draining your bank account.
Start a Side Hustle
Sometimes, just sticking to your budget is just not enough. You want to spend more and enjoy the finer things in life, and that is totally okay, but that means you have to earn more. One thing I have never stopped longing for is how to make more money. Even the richest man on earth wants to make more money, because what is better than money? More money!
That being said, you don’t have to go and get a stressful second job! nope! you can start a side hustle from the comfort of your home.
What you are reading right now (my blog) is my side hustle! and I love it. If you are thinking of starting a blog, you need a web host, and Siteground is the very best of them all. Don’t believe me? believe these testimonies. I have been using Siteground for a while now and I am more than satisfied. I have never experienced an issue, and the only time I had to contact their customer service (they are awesome by the way) was during my set up. I legit started this blog in 15mins, and so can you, using Siteground. Siteground is cheap and because I want the best for my readers, I specially negotiated the cheapest price of just $3.95 for yall! you can get this fabulous price when you sign up using my link.
Any steps/ideas you think I missed? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear from you.