Are you new to budgeting? If so, you might very well be thinking that it is all a cruel joke that someone is playing on you and in fact? They kind of are. Most people will tell you that having a family budget and sticking to it is easy. I won’t. Creating a budget that works for your family is anything but easy. It is anything but simple and it absolutely will be hard. It is totally worth it though. If you’re new to having a family budget, don’t stress too much. There are steps, like these budget tips below that will help make things easier on yourself and your family. In fact, most of these steps were put into place in my own budget back in 2014 when I needed to get my budget on track, I put these same budget tips into practice in my own home.
The biggest thing to remember when you’re just starting out with a budget is that you will fail. That’s okay though! It happens to all of us at one point or another and your budget will be no different. What you’ll need to keep in mind though is that even when you fail, it is so very, very important to get up and keep trying. You won’t get anywhere if you simply give up after failing once and if by chance you’re trying to stop living paycheck to paycheck, failing once and quitting can be extremely dangerous to your finances. In fact, having the mindset that you are a financial failure and always will be, can actually keep you from succeeding financially. Your thoughts do directly impact your finances.
Family Budget – 31 Budget Tips for Budget Babies
When you take a look at these budget tips, you might feel overwhelmed. Don’t. The great thing about your personal budget journey is that it is yours and yours alone. Take the time that you need to learn and to really master one skill before moving onto the next. Doing it that way will ensure that you’re giving yourself, your family and your finances the care and attention that they deserve. Like I told you when I wrote my 52 everyday items you can reuse to save money post, doing things one day at a time or even one week at a time (as in the case with that particular post), ensures that you’ve really got the skill down pat before you move onto the next.
Find a budget that works for you –
There seems to be a misconception running around that budgets are one size fits all. The brutal truth though is that they aren’t. Just because a budget has worked for your parents or a friend, doesn’t mean that it will for you. Instead, learn how to create a budget that will work for you and instead of fighting to fit your money around a budget, you’ll fit your budget around your money.
Update your budget regularly –
Knowing how often you should be updating your budget is almost as important as having your budget in the first place. If you’re not updating often enough, you will easy find yourself off track. Instead of allowing that to happen, update your budget weekly at the very least and you’ll keep things in line and doing well.
Balance your checkbook –
These days most people are not in the habit of writing checks, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be balancing your checkbook. In fact, you absolutely should balance your checkbook even if you don’t write checks. Why? Because your debit card is basically an electronic check. Even when you swipe, you’re still “writing a check” which means that you need to know if your debit card register and your checking account match up.
Know when to cut your expenses –
The truth is that sometimes our expenses can get ahead of us no matter how hard we try to keep them down. Knowing when that has happened is one of the biggest keys to keeping your family on budget. The second part of that key is knowing how to cut your household expenses when you need to. The two “keys” play off of each other and will help you keep your budget in check.
Know when to earn extra money –
If y our budget is too tight, you have two options. First, to lower your expenses and secondly, to make more money. Once you have lowered your expenses as much as possible, it is time to look at making more money to cover things if you still can’t. This means doing what you can to add more money to your income every month. For some, that will be reselling things. For others, they will start a blog to earn money. For others still, they’ll do surveys. Whatever you do though, make sure you do it in time to save your budget from collapsing.
Know how to calculate your net worth –
Knowing knowing how to calculate your net worth actually does affect your budget even though it may not seem like it. Why? Because unless you know that number, you will never have a truly clear picture of how your budget is working or what your financial situation actually looks like. Figuring out your net worth isn’t always fun, especially if you’re upside down financially and have more debt than assets, but unfortunately, it is a necessary evil.
Know how to raise your net worth with multiple streams of income –
Along with knowing what your net worth is, you should also know how to increase it. One of the best ways to do that is by knowing why you should have multiple streams of income. We are working on ten different income streams and may actually end up with more than that. For us, our net worth increases the less we struggle and the more comfortable we become.
Use cash…but only if it works for you –
I see so many people pushing the benefit of a cash only budget and while I agree that it is great for some families, it simply isn’t best for all. I know. I just made a few people angry enough to close this post down, but the simple truth is that there are people out there, like me, who actually spend more when they have cash in their hand. For me, I spend more because cash is so very easy to spend. When I swipe my debit card however, I stop and check my accounts before I do. This simple action keeps my accounts in check. If you are currently using cash and it isn’t working for you? Don’t be afraid to make the switch to your debit card.
Know the value of not being debt free –
Ready for another one that will make some people angry? There are times in your life where you absolutely should not be debt free and knowing when those times are will help you with your monthly budget. It might seem backwards, but it really isn’t once you know the reasoning behind it.
Know the value of being debt free –
On the other hand, being debt free is something that you’ll want to work toward. If your debt seems overwhelming, there are ways that will allow you to quickly pay down debt so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. For most people, a credit score will be a necessity for most people at least at some point in their life. Once you have passed that point though, debt free needs to be what you aim for. Why? It’s pretty simple. One you are debt free, you’ll have those monthly payments to add back into your budget.
Don’t just save money…build wealth too –
Let me ask you a question; when you look into your future to the point in time when you’re able to retire…are you actually able to? If the only thing you saved for in your budget was to build your savings account, you may not be able to. When you’re only saving money and you’re not working on building wealth too, you leave yourself open to only having that money to fall back on when you need it. When you save money and build wealth at the same time, however, you are preparing your family for whatever may come, are providing a lifestyle that you’ve always wanted and you’re working on building your future at the same time.
Stop Buying and Make Homemade –
Believe it or not, but you can relieve a lot of tension in your family budget when you stop buying and start making as many items at home as possible. We started weeding out store-bought products in 2015 and since then, we’ve saved almost $9,000. For us, it was about saving money and my health, but the truth is that I never would have guessed that we would have been able to save as much as we have. When you start looking at items you can stop buying and make homemade, it will shock you just how much less you need to budget for things like groceries and household items.
Find a system to earn extra money that really does work –
We’ve already talked about making extra money, but when you go to do so, you’ll need to find a system that works for you. Maybe you’ll find something like my $225/mo extra income every month system. Maybe it will be something like becoming a Le-Vel promoter or a Thrive Life consultant. Maybe it will be something such as starting a resale business on Amazon. It could be something entirely different and that is perfectly okay. There are a ton of side jobs that you can do to earn extra money. If you haven’t found yours yet, keep trying until you do. If your budget is tight enough, your financial future really could depend on it.
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