Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to completely overhaul your family’s lifestyle in order to budget and find areas to save some extra money.
There are many simple steps that can get you on your way to a financially balanced household. Even the smallest changes in your family’s spending habits can make a big difference in saving money and staying on budget, especially when you have a large family.
And best of all, you don’t have to sacrifice meaningful family time or become an extreme coupon clipper in order to do so. Saving money can even be a family activity or teaching opportunity for your children. Involving them in the process can help teach them important financial lessons about saving money and doing things over having things.
Here are four quick, simple tips for large families on a budget.
Live Within Your Means and Create a Budget
Living within your means is all about knowing how much your household makes and spending less than you bring in. It is important to take inventory or make a list of your income and prioritize expenses. This will help you get started with a monthly budget and enable you to create a spending plan for your money. Whether you use traditional pen and paper, or a mobile budget app, simply starting a budget will get you on your way to getting ahead and getting organized. Creating a household budget and adopting the live within your means philosophy can help you reach your family’s financial goals.
Save Wherever Possible
After you create a budget, the next step is finding out where you can drawback your spending. Reducing the number of trips you take to your local coffee shop is just one small way to save extra cash. Ultimately, those trips can add up and it might be the one thing that puts more money than you think back into your pocket. Another area you can save big in: grocery shopping. And you don’t have to become an ultimate coupon clipper to do so. Reducing your grocery trips to once or twice a month and always going in prepared with a list are simple ways to reduce overspending on your trips. Retail shopping can also work the same way, and with the internet at your fingertips, you can quickly and easily save by comparing prices online, signing up for newsletters for deals/discounts and finding promo codes.
Family Time at Home
Taking the family out to dinner or the movies isn’t the only way to spend quality time together as a family. While it might be tempting to get out of the house with the kids, there’s plenty of family fun to be had right in your own home. A home movie or board game night with delicious snacks are just two examples of fun, simple, at-home activities for the entire family. Or, take home-movie night a step further and create your very own movie. Grab a smartphone and help your kids record their very own film. Whipping up a home-cooked meal is another option that can incorporate the entire family and be special bonding time, especially when you have a large family to feed. Involve your kids in the planning and shopping process makes it a family affair. Activities don’t have to be restricted to just inside your house. For families who are really itching for outdoor fun, pitch a tent in the backyard complete with sleeping bags and items to make s’mores.
With a large family, it can be tough to find time to do anything extra outside of your daily routine. Work, school drop off and pick up, lessons, recitals and making dinner can all add up for an exhausting day. It’s easy to let things like finding time to manage a budget or cost-efficient ways to save money fall at the wayside. But if you can follow these three tips, you’ll find that managing your savings can be quick and simple.