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Taking care of a family is hard enough, but managing the finances can seem next to impossible. Not only do you want to give them everything you can, but you also want to do it all. Someone who manages their finances responsibly has peace of mind and knows how to:
Here are 10 ways to create and manage a budget that you can stick to that provides your family with what they need.
Budgets can be tricky, so set one that you can be comfortable with. Take your new knowledge from tracking your spending habits and map out expense categories such as rent, utilities, entertainment and groceries. Look for areas where you think you could possibly cut back to increase the amount of money going into investments and/or savings.
There are several free programs online for tracking how you currently spend your money. These programs offers great budgeting tool that categorizes all of the income and expenses coming into and out of your account. This will allow you to see trends and note when you are spending a little more in a category than you would ideally like.
There are many opportunities out there to help you pay less for the items you need. Consider offers/coupons or becoming a rewards member to your most frequently visited stores. These offers will help you to save instead of paying the whole money in buying the item.
The week-to-week or month-to-month planning is necessary. However, planning ahead for emergencies, down payments for cars, improvements to your home, etc. are absolutely essential. Consider having your salary split into multiple accounts to ensure that you are putting money aside for the long term.
Credit Cards have their benefits, but a lot of people get themselves into trouble when they charge purchases with money they don’t have to spend. If you use a credit card to get the rewards, be sure to pay the balance off at the end of the month. Leaving a balance can accrue interest and finance charges which will leave you spending more for an item than it was actually worth.
Setting aside a time when you can really focus on getting things paid and taking care of anything unusual with a vendor is incredibly important. Whether that is the same day every week or the 15th and the 30th, be sure to make it consistent. As the process can be tedious, find a way to treat yourself.
One of the best ways to stick to a budget is through the use of lists. Before you even walk through the door of the store, write down what it is you are going to purchase. Take the list with you and only purchase those items.
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