Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Managing Your Family Finances

As a family, it can be tricky to balance finances, especially when it comes to children. There is always something to buy, something needed or even just something they want as a treat. Making sacrifices is hard at the best of times but even more so during times like now, as we live through a global pandemic.
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For a lot of people, this can be an awfully worrying time, stress over paying bills, rent/mortgage or even having enough food to feed the family. So what can you do when money is tight and you need to make what you have last as you work to care for your family?

Brainstorm Ideas

This might not work so well with young children, but getting the whole family together to discuss ideas on making your money go further during difficult times can be hugely beneficial for everyone.
Get all the households on the same page and up to date with any money issues and look at ways you can make savings, cut costs or even invest any savings you might have. Remember, if you are looking to invest your money, do your homework and carefully consider your options before parting with your money. If you want to invest in stocks and shares, then check out reviews of broker sites to get the right company for you. The same applies to changing savings accounts or investing in new businesses or property.
When it comes to your money, you can never be too careful, and the last thing you want is to lose it all because you didn't check the small print carefully.

Make it Fun

Kids, especially younger children can be oblivious to money worries. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Depending on their age, the choice is yours as to whether or not to be honest with them about your financial situation.
One way around it is to use what you have at home and make things fun. Cardboard boxes are always a huge source of fun as are items you may normally throw out or put in your recycling. Clean out containers, empty boxes, and make a day or even week of crafting. Kids don't always need the most expensive toys.
Get their imagination going and see what adventures you can go on with your creations. Making the mundane fun is a great way to keep everyone occupied for as little money as possible.
Do this with mealtimes too. Have indoor picnics with random bits of food you have leftover or that needs using up. Get a blanket out and round everyone up to help set up the picnic and get ready. Alternatively, tea parties work well too, especially if you have a dressing up theme. Get everyone to come dressed up as their favorite character or as a different member of the family!

Lead By Example

Simply put, if you are telling your child they can't have something due to the cost, have the same talk with yourself. If you are short on money, then cutting back on frivolous spending could help you to save more money or free up some disposable income for other things you need.
Have you ever written down exactly what you spend in a day or a week? If not try it. You will probably be surprised at how much you spend on non-essential items that could be better utilized in other areas of the family budget. Even if it is saving the extra dollars to buy your child that toy they want. 

Diversify Your Income

Holding down a job with a family is hard going. But the reality is sometimes, you need to bring in more money. whether this is to pay off debts, student loans or simply to more money into the household. Being able to generate an additional income stream will no doubt add to our existing workload and family commitments but will help ease the pressure financially.
If gaining additional employment isn't an option then how about looking at how you can work from home. With remote working on the rise, there has never been a better time to look at working from home.
Even better could be becoming your own boss and dipping your toes into the self-employed market and the world of freelancing. Have a think about what your skills are and take it from there. From baking bread, cupcakes, birthday cakes from your kitchen, to online tutoring, and more. Even starting a blog! Blogging is a great way to earn an extra income if you have a flair for writing and the commitment to post regularly and work with brands on new campaigns and collaborations. Even freelance writing is an option if you have a  flair for the written word.


In the same way we mentioned above with spending on non-essentials, budgeting plays a huge part in managing your family’s finances from shopping using coupons and buying special offers to cutting back on your spending to keep within a set budget.
An easy way to budget is to;
- List all your income sources.
- List your outgoings including rent/mortgage payments, utilities, insurances, car payments etc
- List everything else you spend money on
- Identify areas you can potentially save money. 
- Look at things such as switching credit cards to take advantage of better deals. Changing utility companies
- Work out a plan of how you are going to keep to your new budget and what changes you need to make.
Simple things like cooking more meals from home instead of eating out, shopping at thrift stores instead of buying new clothing when you can. Walking more instead of taking the car to cut down on how much gas you need to buy and so on. Going without your favorite luxuries isn't fun. Taking away some of the nicer things in life is never going to be easy but making sure you can still enjoy them just less frequently will help you stay on track when it comes to managing your family finances.