Strategies For Debt Management in A Family Budget
Strategies for debt and cash flow management in a family budget include:
- Consolidating all consumer debt (that is everything you owe, except for your mortgage) and making it
a priority to pay it off in a timely fashion, getting reduced rates and maximizing your effort in wiping the
financial slate clean.
- Paying off high-interest credit cards first
- Use a line of credit if you can as the interest rates are typically lower
- Suspend any kind of spending on any credit card and establish good habits paying in cash for purchases
- Use all store-based cards wisely or not at all, if that is the disciplined approach you have chosen
- Store-based card often have no annual fees and you could qualify for them even with a low credit score – showing restraint and good fiscal management by making your payments on time, every time and keeping the account up to date, will go a long way to regaining your confidence and repairing your credit.
- Utilize the service of a good credit counseling service to assist you and deal with your habitual over-spending and shopping addiction
- Use credit card statements for budgeting purposes for accuracy and tracking
- Loans are handled no differently – the strategy is pretty much the same: find the highest loan balance and the highest rate and start paying the latter first
- Avoid any new debt
- If after a six month period you have paid like clockwork, contact your creditors and negotiate a lower rate at that time to ease the burden a little bit
- Student and educational loans are approached as investments in your future and is a hybrid and shoulder debt category really. Loan-payback for all tuition debt needs to be included in your family budget. Taking a second job (evenings and weekends might be the answer here, ,while honing and practicing your skills and gaining some more experience as well!). This might lead to better business opportunity later and higher paying jobs later in life!
Take heart. Family budgets are not here to depress you even further. The fact that you are taking pro-active measures to participate in your life, ,sends the right signals, not only to creditors and credit counselors, but also to the family members that care so deeply about you too!
Another popular topic for family budgets, is children and fun activities. How to make the most of these togetherness opportunities, while living and functioning within limited means and on a budget, causes many money wise parents concern:
- “The best things in life are FREE” – you just need to know where to find them, how to look and then enjoy them together. Being cash-strapped or budget-challenged should not minimize the FUN you as a family have together.
- Prioritize it together with the other members and the children in the home (if they are older), discussing alternatives like picnics, walks, visiting a beach, lake or park close-by.
- Look for locations with lots of open-area space, baseball fields, tennis courts, and basketball courts.
- Use coupons for entertainment like DVD rentals, miniature golf and other sports.
- Matinee rates for movies are a great way to save money.
- Play board games with friends, arrange potlucks and play-dates.
- Visit zoos and museums and outdoor summer concerts that are usually free of charge.
- Add fun elements to choosing, like putting the activities in a hat and letting other choose what to do next.
- Avoid window shopping, mall-crawling or expensive shops where you will be tempted to spend more money or leave feeling guilty that you cannot.
- For discounted, bargain-priced brand-name kids clothing, shopping at end of season sales is a real budgetary blessing!
- Budget for one very special outing or event, you can do as a family and set aside a little extra if you can for that annual camping, local or road trip you plan for, in your family budgeting process each and every year.
Family budgets is not all doom and gloom. There are always ways to do little things together, make memories and
invest time and attention in one another that costs absolutely nothing but time, a smile, a hug or two and a caring heart to share them all with!
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Budget Tips Guide : Setting Up A Family Budget: Conclusion