Family Budget – 31 Budget Tips for Budget Babies {Part 2}

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Prepare for financial emergencies (or any emergency for that matter) –

Things happen and if your budget is not prepared for a financial emergency? You are going to be in real trouble when those things happen to you. To ensure that it doesn’t, make sure that you budget enough money to build an emergency fund. Ideally, you should have 3-6 months of expenses covered but even just $1,000 or so will help. Once you’ve got your emergency fund built, take a look at why you should prepare for any emergency. You’ll save yourself both a lot of financial heartache and physical heartache by doing so.

Reuse what you can to save money – 

One of the biggest drains on your budget will be buying new products. If however, you make an effort to reuse things, you’ll save enough each month to make a real dent into your family budget. The biggest thing is learning which items to reuse to save money so that you’re not wasting time or effort in reusing something that isn’t going to save you money at all.

Don’t bother with no-spend challenges –

I know. Another one that totally goes against the grain of what most people will tell you but here’s my thought: If you’re planning a no-spend month? You should probably just go ahead and skip it. Sure, you’ll save a bit of money in the short term and may even be able to get yourself out of financial trouble if you’re it, but it won’t break the bad habits that got you into trouble in the first place.

Learn to Live Within Your Means – 

Keeping up with the Joneses or catering to your every want is a fantastic way to find yourself broke. The simple truth is that if you ever want to get ahead financially, you need to crack down and live within your means. Going out and blowing your money each payday is not only an irresponsible action but it will destroy your financial future. Living within or even beneath your means is more important than most people realize but it really is one of the most important things you could ever do for your family budget.

Track your expenses like a pro – 

Most people use a simple notebook to track their expenses and that is perfectly fine if it works for you. If, however, you find that it isn’t working out the way that you thought it would, consider tracking them with an account ledger book. Using one will allow you to not only track your individual expenses but balances as well giving you a much larger overall picture of your finances.

Know how many bank accounts you should actually have – 

Do you have just a single checking and savings account? What if I said that you should actually have five? Knowing why you should have five bank accounts and how to use each one is one more step toward keeping your budget on track.

Read plenty of great books by financial wiz kids – 

There is always room for you to learn and one of the best ways to do that is by reading a book. I have several money saving books that everyone should read on my list that I am constantly recommending to people. Each one helps to put your budget a little more in check, helps to build wealth or teaches finances goodness in some other way. Finding those books should be high on your list of priorities since there will always be someone else who knows more on a topic than you do.

Cut your grocery bill as much as possible – 

Groceries are one of the biggest expenses that a family can have so by learning how to save money on groceries, you will free up money to be used elsewhere in your budget or to be saved. There are too many ways to save for me to put them all in this post, but if you look, you’ll find a way to save. The biggest portion of a family grocery budget will be meat so learning how to save money on meat can help in a big way by itself.

Shop for groceries in places you have never thought to – 

One way to save money on groceries that I did wanted to mention is that you should always be looking for places to buy groceries that are outside of the norm. You can save money buying your groceries on Amazon, save on meat with Zaycon Foods, add Thrive Life foods to your grocery budget and more to save. You would be surprised at how many out of the norm places that you can buy groceries to cut your bill by quite a bit.

Make shopping online work for you –

Like I said, buying groceries in odd places can be a huge money saver in your budget and that includes online. When you’re shopping online though, you’ll want to make sure that you are doing everything that you can to save even more money. One of my favorite ways to do that is with programs like Ebates and Shop Your Way Rewards. Ebates will pay you cash back when you shop online meaning that you are putting your money back into your pocket. Plus, Ebates will give you a free $10 gift card of your choice when you make your first $25 purchase. Shop Your Way Rewards is a program for Sears and Kmart that allows you to earn points on your purchases. Those points are then turned into cash back off of your next order. You’ll want to sign up for a Shop Your Way Rewards account and sign up for an Ebates account before you shop though. You won’t be able to earn your cash or points back if you don’t.

Learn to haggle – 

Believe it or not, you can haggle with most things in life including things like your utility bills and meat from the meat counter. You just need to learn how to haggle to get the best deal. Learning how to and then actually doing it can save you hundreds, if not thousands each year if you offer the haggle at the correct time. Is your internet bill about to jump? Negotiate with them to keep you as a customer. Don’t want to pay that price for a roast that has a sell by date of today? Find out what happens when you take it to the butcher counter. You may not always win the deal but you’ll never know until you try.

Re-think your warehouse club membership –

Club and warehouse stores are great for amazing deals, but they can also be damaging to your budget too if you’re not careful. If you’ve got a Sam’s Club or Costco membership, you need to make sure that it isn’t costing you money that you desperately need in your budget. The reason that I say this is because when you shop at club stores, it can be extremely easy to go overboard and spend more money than you intend to which means that it will only take one or two shopping trips that go overboard for your club store to make you broke. If you’ve gotten yourself into a situation with a club store actually hurting your budget,

Consider refinancing your car –

These days, way too many people have car loans and unfortunately, the monthly payments are extremely high. The same could be said for mortgages too. If you’ve got a loan that has a high payment, it may be time to consider refinancing your loans. Refinancing can be a good thing if it is done at the right time since it can often lower your monthly payment. If your budget is already tight or in crisis, this lower payment could be the difference between making it and having a complete budget failure.

Know which items you should never buy new –

As I said when we were talking on the previous page about reusing things, buying items new is a great way to spend more in your budget than you need to as well. There are a few things that you should never buy new since you can get them as a good quality used item instead. Buying new instead of buying a quality used item is simply put, a waste of money. Instead, put a used item in your budget and save the money you would have spent on a new one.

Know which items you should never buy used –

On the other hand, there are items that you should never buy used. These items are either unsafe, usually don’t have quality or will cost you just as much to buy new. In this case, you would actually be wasting money from your family budget to buy one of these items. You would do much better to buy an item new than to buy them used. The quality of an item also applies here too. You will spend more money in your family budget to buy a quality item over a cheaply made one. With a cheap item, you’ll spend much more out of your budget to replace it over and over again than you would if you had just bought the more expensive one.

Skip eating out, but learn to save money on restaurants if you choose to –

Eating at restaurants is a fantastic way to blow your family budget without even realizing it. That’s why it’s best to skip eating out at all. If you absolutely have to though, you’ll want to do everything you can to save money on dining out so that you don’t damage your budget as much as you could. If you are still keeping eating out in your budget, make sure that you keep it to a reasonable number of times each month so that you aren’t blowing more money than your  family budget can spare.

Understand that saving money and budgeting go hand in hand –

I realize that this post (both pages) was a lot of saving money and not a lot of actual budgeting tips. Here’s the thing I want you to remember though; saving money and your family budget go hand in hand. You can’t have a solid family budget without the effort that saving money takes and you won’t save money without seeing your family budget stabilize. Yes, I said the effort of saving money. It isn’t easy to do, especially these days with how expensive prices have become, but it can be done if you’re willing to do the work. Once you’ve done the work, you will see your family budget stabilize in ways like you’ve never seen before.

Realize that you absolutely will fail…and that is perfectly okay –

Finally, I wanted to take the time to reassure you at something. You will fail at your family budget occasionally and you know what? That is perfectly okay. We would all be billionaires if it wasn’t and if we were all budget experts as soon as we were born. We’re not though which means that for the rest of your life, you will learn and re-learn ways to budget, ways to save money and everything in between. Instead of fighting it, sit back and enjoy the ride.




New to having a family budget? These 31 budget tips for budget babes are just what you need! They'll help you get your new family budget off and running!

Stacy Barr
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Stacy Barr

Stacy Barr is the face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family. A true gypsy soul, her newest blog, Unsettled Hearts, chronicles the journey of her family to become full-time travelers. By the age of 30, Stacy had overcome an alcohol addiction, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Stacy is passionate about homeless advocacy and addiction education.  Her first book, also called Six Dollar Family is available on Amazon.

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