Managing family finances can be complicated. It seems like families have a constantly growing list of needs and it can be difficult to keep up with all of the demands on your bank account.
Here are some tips for what you can do when your finances get a little tight.
Maximize Your Purchasing Power
When finances get tight, you need to maximize what you get out of every dollar. Swap out expensive items and replace them with lower-priced alternatives. Instead of buying two boxes of name brand cereal, choose three generic boxes. When you don’t have as much to spend it is vital to make sure that you’re making every dollar count. Remember you can also use coupons to save hundreds each month at the grocery store.
Cut Out Unnecessary Expenses
Go through your expenses line by line and cut back on anything that is not absolutely essential. If you find you have extra money at the end of the month, feel free to loosen up and add back in a few luxuries. But until then, cut everything so you can get a feel for where you truly stand. Cancel recurring monthly expenses, like movie rental services, etc. Examine your cell phone bill and see how much you’re using compared with how much you’re actually paying for. Is all of your information accurate on your car insurance bill, including how many miles a week you’re driving? Some companies, like NCC Direct, Inc., know that if you’re driving less than the insurance company thinks you are, you could be over paying. Considering purchasing a new car from a dealer if your current monthly car payments are too high. Although it may seem like only a few dollars in savings, every dollar counts, and they add up quickly.
Track Your Money
Write down every single purchase you make and categorize it. At the end of the week, total everything up and see how much you’re actually spending in each category. You might be surprised, seven dollars here and twelve dollars there can add up very quickly. You may identify areas you can cut back that will help improve your bottom line significantly. For instance, three dollars on a hamburger might not seem like it would affect your budget much. But at the end of the month, you might realize you spent $230 on fast food. Cutting out that luxury is an easy way to put more money back in your bank account.
Income levels change at times for everyone, and finding ways to live within your means will bring your family financial freedom.
This is a guest post: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook