Household expenses grow along with your kids. Especially in this economy where the prices are constantly on the rise, it is difficult to maintain a budget that covers all costs while still saving some extra.
If you are looking for easy ways to increase your savings and improve your budgeting, follow these tips:
Organize your grocery trips
The more organized you are when shopping for groceries, the more money you can save. Schedule your grocery trips and make everyone stick to that schedule. Instead of hitting the store each time you remember to buy something, list it down and let the list grow until it is time for your scheduled shopping day. Before heading out, fill an envelope with related coupons, and set the maximum budget that you are willing to spend on your groceries.
Shop early in the week, when the grocery stores are least crowded for stress-free and straightforward shopping. If you can help it, avoid bringing your young children alone because they might ask for unnecessary things that catch their fancy and lead you to overspend.
Eliminate one to two services each year that you are not using
Most of us are subscribed to services that we hardly use or do not ever even use at all. We are draining money out of our accounts. The service can be anything from a hardly used gym membership or a landline telephone service to a cable TV you hardly watch.
Check your online activities for any impractical subscription. You might have subscribed to a service that was free for the first few months but is not being used. Cancel it before it charges your account any further.
It may only be $50-100 per month, but these stagnant subscriptions add up over time, and the space they free up in your budget can be used for far more productive things.
Do not buy off the shelf
Do your homework each time you plan on buying something, especially if it causes a major dent in your budget. Scour the Internet to see which online store offers the product at the lowest price, or if it is going on sale soon. Check the manufacturer’s and retailer’s websites for any coupons you can use. Buy a similar item secondhand or slightly used, such as winter gear and clothes. You can save hundreds of dollars each year when you research significant purchases.
Shop using cash or debit cards instead of credit cards
You may benefit a lot from the rewards programs of your credit card. However, you might also be using your credit card as an extension of your paycheck, especially when you let a balance slide from one month to the next. This adds interest to the cost of the things you purchase, overriding any rewards-based savings.
On the other hand, using cash and debit cards when shopping is better at securing your budget. You pay directly from your own funds for the product or service you are getting and there is no chance of falling into debt. Knowing that you are shelling out money from your pockets may also prevent spending beyond your means.
Your family deserves the best, even when the going gets tough. As such, they deserve your best budget. Get everyone involved in your upgraded budgeting style and make it a family habit.