Find the time and stick to it.
When you’re juggling the demands of young children, budgeting might seem like the lowest of priorities. Having small children can put you in a position where you are constantly meeting a range of needs. And while that’s great for keeping your mind firmly focused on the present, it can be a big distraction from something essential like budgeting. A family budget is a crucial habit to get into, not just for managing your own finances but also for setting the right example for your kids. When you have a family it is more important than ever to be sensible with your money so you don’t end up in difficult situations such as getting a bad credit record so end up needing to find loans for people with bad credit or relying on your parents to help out with guarantor loans to help make ends meet.
So, how do you do it?
Set aside a little time every day
Time is something that most parents with young children feel that they just don’t have. However, budgeting every day requires just five minutes. Find that five minutes at the end of the day when everyone is in bed and before you reach for that glass of wine. All it takes is a daily check in with your figures – what has been spent and what has come in – and you’ll be able to see whether the finances are on track or you need to make adjustments. It may feel tedious but a daily budget check is preferable to getting to week three in the month and realising that there’s nothing left in the budget but you don’t know where it went.
Automate everything you can
Anything that saves time is useful when you’re budgeting with a young family. So, set up automatic payments for essential bills so that nothing gets forgotten. Pay your credit card off each month by direct debit so that you don’t have to remember to do this manually. Schedule payments into pensions and savings accounts to transfer automatically as soon as you have cash coming in.
Don’t convenience shop
Fruit and vegetables are some of the cheapest foods to buy, as well as the most nutritious. And with the vegan and clean eating trends have come some incredible recipes that are quick to make and appealing to even the fussiest eaters. Plan your meals ahead and buy to a schedule of cooking so that you’re not flying around the supermarket in a panic buying things you don’t really need.
Take all the freebies
Your budget can be improved by making the most of all the freebies that are offered to families with kids. From free entry to major attractions, to free travel and books for kids under a certain age, you can save a lot if you’re savvy when it comes to researching what your options are.
Sell what you don’t need
From old mobile phones, through to unwanted books and toys, there is cash to be generated from your trash that could help your budget through tougher times. Hold a car boot sale at home or try an app like shpock, which is basically the digital version.
There’s an app for that
Budgeting apps have evolved at a blistering pace over the past couple of years as banks and finance platforms recognise that most of us need a little help managing our money. Apps like Cleo, for example, act as an intelligent assistant – they can help you to get perspective on what you’re spending and set and manage savings goals. If you don’t have time to fully engage with your budgeting then they do all the thinking for you.