One of the biggest issues with trying to work out family finances, is trying to save for your future while still enjoying your life now. Many families want the security of knowing that their family will be provided for, especially for their children. However, you don’t want that to be at the expense of having fun as a family. Thankfully, there are a few ways that you can get your saving right and still have the income to do those things you enjoy now.
Know Your Cash Flow
If you want to have the best of both worlds, you need to understand some basics about your cash flow. It is important that you know what money you have going in and out of the household so that you can save accordingly. To give yourself the best chance of having enough to save and spend, your income has to be maximized,and your expenditure reduced where you can. The best way to do this is to have a budget planner where you can list everything you spend and receive. It will allow you to see any patterns in your spending that you can change or adjust.
Learn What is Important to You
When you are looking at your budget, you will often find things you can do without. However, if you haven’t set yourself clear goals about what you want, then these cuts to your budget will be meaningless. Think about what you want to do right now, do you want to have a nice house, or do you want to save for the latest gadgets? Once you know, you can then start to remove unnecessary items from your budget. Not only will it make it easier, but it will also help to keep you motivated.
Balance Your Spending
Although you want to reduce your spending, you actually want to shift the money to other areas of your life. This balancing requires you to be honest with yourself as much as everyone else. For example, if you are spending money on television subscriptions that you don’t watch, then that money will be better spent on the things that you want to do. The same applies to your food shopping, if you are buying lots of things that you are simply throwing away, then perhaps you can revise your food habits to make it more economical.
Revise Your Monthly Bills
As well as those expenses that you spend each month, there will also be regular monthly bills for energy, insurance,and other necessities. However, just because they are necessary, doesn’t mean that you can’t do something to help reduce them. Most companies will have cheaper tariffs for their energy that you can move onto. Also, some companies are cheaper than others, so it pays to shop around a little as well. Any deals that you can arrange with these companies means more spare cash for you and your family.
Reduce Your Debts
Often a large part of a family’s income goes on repaying debts. Although this is necessary, these payments are limiting the amount of money you can spend on other things or save. It is important that you try to reduce your debt as quickly as possible, so you can then use that money. One way is to use the savings you have already made, to pay off your debts quicker. Another way is to find a way to get a better deal on your debts. Some companies like Cashnetusa can offer loans that could consolidate your debts, and perhaps make the overall payments less. You can then use the money you have saved to spend on the things you want or save for the future.
Automate Your Savings
Most of the time, if you have set up automatic payments for your regular bills, you eventually forget about them and don’t miss the money. The same can be done with your savings, for instance, if you set up a regular debit from your account, you won’t miss the money as much. You also won’t be tempted to spend it on other things. If you want to have separate funds for the car, house, and holidays, then set up separate automatic payments for each. As long as the money is accounted for in the budget, you won’t miss it.
Prepare for the Spontaneous
You might think that with all the budgeting and planning you need, that being spontaneous is a bad idea. However, if you do plan for the unexpected, then you won’t need to worry when you feel the need to buy something. If you can, set aside a little each month for those unexpected and spontaneous things. Perhaps you might want to eat out for a change, or you might spot some clothing that you want. By having some money available outside of your budget, you can still enjoy that spending urge without feeling guilty.
Use Your Budget
If you are saving and trying to enjoy your life now, then you need to make the conscious effort to do exactly that. There is little use keeping money aside for those trips to the beach or the fun activities if you don’t do them. The money will then become another savings plan,and your family won’t be making good memories together. Once you have started saving, you can then begin booking those fun events for the whole family. Set aside some time to go places together and have fun, but make sure everyone can attend. If you don’t have the time to go anywhere, then invest in some fun activities you can all do at home. After a while, you will begin to see the fruits of your hard work, and it will make the effort worth it.
Everyone worries about the future, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try to prepare for it the best way you can. It also means that you shouldn’t deny yourself or your family the time together now.