Family Finance – 4 Easy Tips for Managing the Household Expenses

 

Photo by stevepb on Pixabay

 

Running a household can be exhausting. Between events, activities, school and work it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Throughout all of it, you are spending money, often without keeping track of where it is going. Surprisingly, you don’t have to undertake the task of managing your household expenses alone. You can involve your family and teach your children valuable life skills at the same time.

Deal with your Debt

Too many families don’t have an accurate picture of their debt. Even small monthly payments can add up and quickly undermine your best financial efforts. Large, unexpected expenses can bring with them high-interest payments if your habit is to pay with a credit card. Small cash loans generally have much lower interest rates and more flexible payment options.

Another option to get a handle on your debt is to write a list, including everything you can think of and the corresponding payments due. Once you are aware of all your outstanding debt, you can pursue options like debt consolidation or debt overpayment to reduce it quickly. Professional credit counselors can also help you create a plan of attack.

Make Time to Review Your Finances

Set aside one evening a week to balance your accounts. If you are not already, use auto-pay to set up recurring monthly bill payments for everything possible. Then, once a week review your impending payments against your available funds and check your automatic payments against your budget—are they what you anticipated? If not, research why the bill was greater or less than your budget that month and call the company to correct any issues. Companies can make mistakes on their billing. Don’t let those mistakes hurt your household budget unnecessarily.

Cook at Home

After a long day at work, cooking a meal sounds way more challenging than picking something up on the way. The research results are in: eating out can be five times more expensive than cooking meals at home. Restaurants charge very heavily for dishes including proteins and pasta, so if these are some of your favorites, you stand to save a lot by cooking them at home. Home meal kits aren’t much better. They can be three times more expensive than buying the same ingredients. You could be overpaying tremendously for some Macaroni and Cheese! If your children are old enough, use this as an opportunity to teach them a valuable life skill by making them responsible for preparing a meal.

Teach Your Kids to Pay Their Way

If you have older children capable of earning an income from things like babysitting or dog walking, teach them the value of money by encouraging them to pay their way. Make them responsible for purchasing the items they “want.” For example, if your adolescent needs $10 to go to the movie with friends, teach them to pay for that expense themselves. When you make your children responsible for providing for their wants, they learn to be more selective with their money and relate dollars spent to dollars earned much more quickly. It also allows your paycheck to stay firmly rooted in paying for things such as the mortgage and utilities.

Your family may be more capable than you thought of managing the household expenses. Including them whenever possible will not only teach them life lessons like how to cook and pay for their own “wants,” but also help reduce your expenses. To effectively steer the family ship, track your debt carefully and take time to review your finances on a weekly basis.

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Comments

  1. These tips far fab. Especially the pay your way one!

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