Monday, September 16, 2019

How to Get the Most From Your Household Budget

Image credit Pixabay CC0 License

Taking care of a family and running a household is an expensive task. Trying to keep everyone clean, fed, clothed and warm is a costly process, and that's without even adding on any costs of running a vehicle, vacations, etc. 

While it may be expensive to keep your home running and take care of your family, there are loads of ways that it can be made both easier, and a lot cheaper too. Once you start looking for ways to save money, you may be surprised by just how addictive it is! Becoming a bargain hunter and picking up the best deals can be a lot of fun - once you get started, there will be no stopping you!

Finding ways to save yourself some money, and taking a proactive approach, is a great way to beat the stress of trying to balance your finances. Once you start being proactive about it, you're sure to feel a whole lot better. Here are some ideas you may want to try to get you started:

Reassess Your Budget

Do you stick to a weekly, or monthly budget for your household? If not, now is the time to get started on creating a budget that you can stick to. It can be helpful to write down all of your earnings, and to then work out how much you typically spend on things such as gas, household bills, groceries, etc. Next, examine this spending and see where savings can be made. Doing this can sometimes flag up money that's leaving your account for no reason at all, such as a long-forgotten subscription, for example.

Make Your Money Work Harder

While you may not be able to squeeze yourself a bigger budget to cover your outgoings, you can make the money that you currently earn work harder for you.

If you have credit cards, do some research and read reviews to find the best ones for you, such as's review of Chase Visa cards as being well-informed about your finances is essential.

If you currently have savings, then check that you are getting the best return on them, and weigh up the positives and negatives of the other savings accounts available.

Shop Around

Do you visit the same grocery store each week without fail? If you do, you could be missing out on a great money-saving opportunity. 

Shopping around to pick up the best deals from different stores, may be a little more time-consuming, but it will save you money.

Boost Your Paycheck

Does your employer often have extra hours available to work? Why not take them up on their offer and earn yourself some extra cash? Of course, no one wants to spend every waking hour at work, but you may be surprised by how much of a difference, simply doing an extra couple of hours each week can make to your paycheck. 

Working just a small amount of extra hours, shouldn't cut into your free time too much, but can make a big difference. Make sure that you set aside the extra money that you earn from working overtime. Otherwise, it will be absorbed into the rest of your money in your bank account. Try to use this cash to make a difference to your finances, whether it's making some extra payments to get a debt paid off faster, or put it into savings for something that you need for your home.

Think Before You Buy

Most people at some time have gotten themselves carried away on a shopping trip and given into temptation. The result of this usually is overspending and then feeling guilty about it afterwards. 

A straightforward fix to beat unnecessary spending is to ask yourself, do I need this? Will I use it? Unless you can answer yes to both of these questions, put the item back on the shelf and congratulate yourself on not giving in to temptation!

Start Your Seasonal Shopping Early

Buying items out of season is a great way to pick up fantastic bargains. Don't forget to apply the above 'think before you buy' rule to your purchases!

If you have space to store items such as Holiday gift wrap and gifts, then you could make life much easier, as well as less expensive for yourself in the long run. Make sure that you know where you are storing everything, as there's nothing worse than trying to be organized and then forgetting what you bought and where you put it when you need it.

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