Family Budgeting: Useful Tips To Make Your Dollar Go Further
With the rising costs and mismatched wage increases, more low and middle-class American families are feeling the strain of a tighter budget. That is about 60 % of the households across America that are raising families on a shrinking budget. In fact, around 78 % of full-time workers were living paycheck to paycheck in 2017, according to a report by CareerBuilder. In 2017, the cost of raising a child until age 17 hit $233, 610 and average household debt continued to climb. As a result, families are faced with finding ways to survive on tighter budgets. Whether you are looking to repay outstanding debts, save for a large purchase or simply cannot keep up with the climbing costs, here are some tips that may help your family’s dollar go further.
Monitor Your Expenses
With proper monitoring of your outgoings, you can take control of your money. When you know where your money is going, you are able to see the ways you may be unnecessarily spending cash. Keep an eye on your bank statements each month and for on the go access, spending and tracking apps are a great inclusion and can give you a quick overview of your finances in as little as 60 seconds. After this, it is time to get creative with ways to reduce the largest or unnecessary bills.
For most families, one of those would be food. Each year, Americans toss out around a pound of food per person, especially in fresh fruits and vegetables. Waste reduction techniques in the kitchen can include batch cooking (and freezing), meal planning and repurposing of leftovers. Dining out is also another sizeable expenditure. In 2018, a Nielsen survey found that Americans are eating out more than before. Cooking at home and getting the family involved are great ways to enjoy home cooked nutritious meals and bond as a family. Don’t forget to include your credit as well. Keep track of your past financial ratings and if necessary, you can take steps to mend any damage that may affect you in the future. If you plan on obtaining finance in the future, then your credit score will play an important role.
Be Smart With Your Utilities
Often we can get comfortable with our utilities provider and never think of pursuing a better deal. However, by simply shopping around you can shave hundreds off your household spend each year. Using comparison tools available online, take some time to research the available packages being offered for your broadband, electricity and even your home insurance. Make note of better deals and don’t be afraid to negotiate. Often companies are more inclined to offer discounts and a more price friendly package to customers if faced with a competing offer. By simply enquiring you can find yourself looking at much more purse friendly utilities bills each month.
Reuse Where Possible
Often when it is time to purchase new season clothing for our kids or even birthday presents, we automatically head to the store and end up paying hundreds of dollars especially around the holidays and special occasions. However, have you ever explored a thrift store or yard sale? Garage sales and thrift stores can end up saving you upto 80 % of your clothing bills and more often than not, you can find yourself some fantastic bargains in great condition. Buying second hand should not be overlooked; you can get what your family needs at a fraction of the price.
This idea also applies to you and your family as well. With kids growing at an exponential rate, parents are often left with clothing, toys and other items that has been rarely or moderately worn or used. Make use of the various online selling platforms like Ebay and Facebook Marketplace. Alternatively, you can go the traditional route and do a yard sale. While you will not recover the initial price paid, you can recoup a percentage of it which you can then put towards your current bills.
With a few simple changes, you can save yourself and your family hundreds off your monthly spend. Whether it is to save for a new home, repay debt or simply to cope with satisfying your family’s needs on a limited budget, these tips can help you stay on track with your finances. You can provide for your family’s needs without breaking the bank.