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Parents’ Guide: Budgeting better

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Keeping up with your incomings and outgoings can be difficult, especially with the busy life of work and children. However, it is extremely important to manage your finances and not let your finances control you. Therefore, saving is essential and although it can be challenging, it can also be rewarding.

Here are 5 tips to help you budget better:

Where is my money going?

Although this question is very hard for any parent to answer, when it comes to controlling finances, it must be tackled. Look at your regular expenses as well as all minor costs. It is from this you will get an overall picture of your cash-flow. Decide what is essential, and remember that all little cutbacks add up!

Learn to love spreadsheets

Identify the essentials and when they must be paid. Plan your spending for the week or month and stick to it. In this plan be fair to yourself. There is no point making great plans to spend very little when you know you won?t stick to it. This will only turn you away from the idea of budgeting.

Cutbacks

Find out exactly what interest you are paying on any outstanding debts and aim to pay these off first. Did you know it?s possible to move a loan? Always use comparison sites on food, financials, foreign holidays and utilities. Shopping around can help with daily cutbacks. Review your suppliers regularly. Remember competitors are always competing with prices to win customers. Make sure you are getting the best deal.

Discounts

Save as you spend on restaurant deals and days out by taking advantage of cash-back sites. sign up to supermarket loyalty cards. You?ll be amazed at how much you can save. Make online purchases on sites like Gumtree, Ebay and Amazon marketplace – although the sellers cannot always be trusted on these sites, so be careful and do your research.

Food Shop

Use a shopping list. If you can differentiate between ?best before? and ?use by? dates, as well as cost per unit (litre/kg) and price you?ll soon find the best value. Look in the ?reduced? section for that night?s dinner, also check out discounts and special offers. Drop the brand names. Plan meals in advance, make lunches and use the freezer for batch cooking meals.

You can also write down your weekly, monthly and yearly outgoings to see where you can save. Here is an example:

Budget

For more information on budgeting, visit A Practical Guide to Better Budgeting

Source: Family Lives


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