Creating and sticking to a budget does not imply that you have to lose out on important things. A workable and practical budget will allow you to put a brake on needless expenses as well as allowing you to do the things that your family enjoys. Families that sit down and talk about finances automatically have more chances of planning their expenses and saving more money than those that do not.
This is the reason why families that earn higher incomes are still unable to get a grip on their finances. Budgeting is an extremely useful exercise that proves the old adage ‘It’s not what you earn but what you do with what you earn’. Budgets will be different based on unique requirements.
10 Tips that help you budget better
- Sit down together with the whole family. When everyone sits down together, it is more likely that you will get a fair idea of what expenses you should be budgeting for.
- Write down specific and solid figures instead of vague indications. Real figures and numbers will help you create a precise and workable budget.
- Avoid purchasing something that ‘everyone seems to have’. If your old computer is working well then it becomes unnecessary to purchase the latest laptop. Buy only what your family needs.
- Keep your budget flexible. Unexpected expenses will occur especially where children are involved. Small changes should not throw your budget out of gear. Accept that there will be sudden outflows at times.
- Encourage family members to avoid overspending. Avoid being critical. Set an example and children will tend to automatically emulate it.
- If you are planning to invest in an expensive product, opt to try out a sample first before you buy. This ensures that you do not buy a big packet of something you do not really need.
- Switching off lights and using the shower instead of the bath saves valuable pounds on your energy bills.
- Get everyone together for 10 minutes and write down daily expenses. This will help track your money better. Little expenses often get overlooked and eventually snowball into big numbers.
- Make sure you are getting the best deals on your utilities. Compare the latest gas, electricity, mobile and broadband deals to make sure you are getting the most for your money and the best deal for your family.
- Pay for what your family needs. For example, a lot of families subscribe to hundreds of TV channels, half of which they never watch.