Being a parent is challenging yet very rewarding. When it was just you and your partner, you could be frivolous, budgeting may not have been necessary and if you did budget it would most probably have been for an overseas holiday or a luxury item. However once you become a parent, priorities change and your responsibilities increase and to get directly to the point modern day parenting is down right expensive.
As a parent, one of your key responsibilities is to effectively manage the household budget. Parents are not only feeling the rising cost-of-living pressures but we have to be extra disciplined and conscious of spending, making ends meet and forward planning for treats. That’s why budgeting is extremely important.
We are not born with financial management skills, it’s something that most of us are forced to learn ourselves when we are adults, which is the reason why some families struggle with proper budgeting at some point in their journey.
This article has been put together to give some tips that may help with running your household effectively on a budget.
Let’s check them out
1. Set Goals
Setting goals from the get-go is the best way to start budgeting, identifying and being conscious of what is going in and out helps you manage your money better. Working towards something and listing down your priorities will determine short and long term goals for your money. As an example your goal may be to build up savings, or pay off your credit cards.
2. Monitor your Spending Habits
When you track your spending habits, you will be able to determine where you’re overspending. Is it food? The energy bill? Whatever it is, tracking where your money goes will allow you to make quick changes about your spending habits.
To make this easier, you can find a lot of free budgeting tools and tracking apps on the internet, some you can even connect with you accounts.
3. Involve your Family
Teaching children about the value of money and budgets will not only help you with the budget but will be helpful for them later in life.
For example this year I am giving my children money for Christmas and brochures from all the popular department stores. They can go through and choose the toys they want but can only spend the amount given to them. This will not only make them aware of how much things cost but also value the selection.
Work on the budget together as a family, celebrate the successes as a family.
4. Find Alternative Ways to Increase Savings
There are plenty of ways to increase your savings: you can join the rewards program of the stores you frequent the most, search and use coupons and groupons online. Buy energy-efficient appliances such as an air conditioner, or insulate your home to reduce your monthly energy bill.
Also, one of the best ways to increase your savings, especially with the steep rise of cost for electricity is switching to renewable energy and installing solar panels on your home. Though solar energy is initially expensive, some governments are now offering incentives and rebates also a lot of solar companies are offering zero upfront and financing options so you can take advantage of these long-term savings.
Despite the modern day pressures of parenting remember to have fun and enjoy being a parent, live in the month
Explore things to do for free with your children like going for a bush walk, spending a day at the beach or staying at home and baking. Although these activities may not seem exciting they are a much more healthier alternative then paid options and will create long term memories that your child or children will never forget.