Setting Up A Family Budget: Conclusion Part 2
You are in it for the long haul! Take responsibility for spending.
If this means laying down some ground-rules in your household and cutting back on a couple of luxury items, that needs to be discussed, agreed upon and stuck to, to make your budget work and have an impact over time.
Family budgeting is about minimizing and totally avoiding if possible any unexpected and deemed unnecessary spending.
Spell out the realities and consequences of these purchases to others – short on cash, family tension, unnecessary stress and complications, hardship and more.
Openly discussing it builds fiscal responsibilities on all fronts.
This does not mean rigidity or inflexibility.
Need, merit, means and circumstance will obviously dictate.
Family budgeting is also about shared responsibility.
All members can participate – even the kids.
Taking responsibility for the grocery bill for example. Mom is responsible mainly for the weekly outing to the store, but when it comes to the staples like milk, bread, eggs and cheese, one of the teenagers can be entrusted with the budget funds and task, help shop for bargain, check flyers and more.
Setting house-rules about who gets to pay for what and when is also important when you have young adults still living in the house or have boarders.
Family budgeting allows the channel for discussion and eventually mutual agreement on financial goals and priorities.
Perhaps the most important part of all, is that family budgeting helps us all learn where the money actually goes, as opposed to where we think it does or should go.
Normally very different things! The initial realization of the amounts (usually larger than we think!), involved on incidental, discretionary and impulse buying is an eye-opener for most and ends up saving families all kinds of money they never knew they had.
Just brining that into the awareness and our conscious mind tends to put a stop to unnecessary expenditure.
Mall crawling and hanging out in retail stores to kill time, is counter-productive and part of the reason we spend frivolously.
From bookstores, to lottery tickets, gourmet coffee, food-court lunch and a quick movie, items you do not really need, but think you or your spouse or kids would like leads to hasty, flawed and almost distorted decision making.
The thought, actions and actually purchases are not budget-driven and money conscious at all.
All these things add up over time.
Smoking, daily coffee (or two), buying candy, chocolates, pop, magazines and more to ‘kill time’ are all money-guzzlers that should be avoided.
Other examples of incidental money-guzzlers are parking meters, donuts, shoe repair, raffle tickets, fund-raising, car wash, pay phone.
Avoid it is probably unrealistic, but family budgeting, logging and tracking at least makes us more aware of these categories and ‘traps’.
Have a category in your budget for Miscellaneous and track it for say 3-6-12 months and see how it adds up!
Beware the flyers, advertisements, special discounted sales and other retail or sales tricks of the trade that tempt, entice and lure you in to spend your precious dough!
Keep on tracking spending and income no matter what.
A good tip for family budgeting is, at least initially, get a notebook and a pen and write things down as opposed to going to high-tech, spending money to get it done.
Avoid this being or becoming just another unexpected and unplanned expense!
It is supposed to help you, not hurt you.
Tools are great, but process and results are better.
Family budgeting help you focus on the different types of expense you and your family and household face.
The annual ones are the hardest, we tend to put them on the back burner and they tend to be larger amounts too.
Having them in your budget assist us not forgetting there major expenses like school fees, judo or gym memberships, dance classes, Christmas and birthday gifts, babysitting or nanny-salaries and more.
Continue to the next page of your free Family Budget Tips Guide : Setting Up A Family Budget: Conclusion Part 3
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