Managing your personal finances can be tough when you are a parent. It feels like there is never enough money and there’s alway something unexpected to pay for. It can be extremely frustrating but there are tips to make managing your finances easier. Just when you think you’re getting ahead, the car breaks or the central air goes out or there’s another tuition payment for ballet due. There are so many different things that contribute to the stress that builds up surrounding money, but if we break it down together then you might be able to work out how to cope a little better. Me too! In this article,I’m going to be taking a look at some of the things that you can do in order to manage your finances better and easier, so keep reading if you would like to find out more.
Managing Finances Can be Difficult as a Parent, Tips to Make Managing Your Finances Easier
Learn The Word No
First, I’d recommend that you start learning to say “no” without guilt. Of course, if you can say yes and you want to say yes, then this is entirely different. But, a lot of people say yes when they are in no position to do this, and that is a huge problem. It causes a lot of people a lot of money issues, and we don’t want to see that happening to you. As such, whether it’s to yourself, or whether it’s to your children, you need to be able to say no when something is not wanted if you cannot afford it.
We understand that saying no to your kids can sometimes feel awful, especially if they really want what they are asking for. But, there is only so much that you can do, and you can’t magic up money that you just don’t have.
Save For What You Want
Instead of just splurging all of your cash that should be for something else or in your savings account on something that you want, take the time to save up for it. With the money that you have leftover each month, you can take some of that and save for whatever it is that you are wanting. It might take a little while, but it’s going to be worth it in the end because you get the thing that you want, and you don’t have to use any money that was already allocated to get it.
Plus, you will know that you do actually want the product as you have spent the time to save for it. Most people will get bored of saving quite fast because they feel as though the item is not worth the amount of time and effort that needs to be spent to get it. Because of this, you will know that if you do stick it out that it’s something you really wanted.
Budgeting should be at the very top of your list for how to manage money. If you are not budgeting, then how do you know what you are spending? How do you know what you have left at the end of every month? How do you know how much to put into savings? The short answer is that you don’t know the answer to any of these questions which explains why you are having problems with money. It’s tough to manage money, we know, but it’s not tough to create a budget.
To create a budget, you simply need to create two lists: one of these is going to be your incoming funds, and the other is going to be everything that you need to pay out. Take the total of the outgoing away from the total of the incoming, and see what is left. Make sure that each list is as detailed as possible, and always round up instead of down. For example, if you have a bill of 77.65, round it up to 78. It’s always nice to have a little more leftover than not enough to cover it.
The money that is left is yours to do with what you want. However, we highly recommend that if you can afford it, you put half of this into savings so that you start to build up a decent nest egg. It’s important to have some savings for a rainy day, and even though it’s tough, it can be done if you are dedicated enough.
Find Discounts Where You Can
If you are spending too much money at the moment, then you need to start saving money, which can begin with finding discounts. When you are looking around online and doing some shopping, they often ask you at the checkout if you have any voucher codes. Now, there are a few ways in which you can find these discount codes, one of which is signing up to the company mailing list as they will often send them through this. Or, if you’re in the UK, you can use a site like NetVoucherCodes.co.uk which has a whole list of codes for you to choose from.
Try to keep in mind that if you’re struggling for money then any discount is a good discount. Any place in which you can find some savings is going to be helpful, and obviously, the bigger the discount, the better for you.
Save On Your Energy Bills
Have you given much thought to your energy bills? At the moment, the cost of gas and electricity is rising through the roof, having soared to numbers that haven’t been seen in a long time, perhaps ever. It’s tough because you need energy to be able to live the way that we do, but there are some ways that you can save. For example, if you use energy saving light bulbs, this will dramatically improve the overall cost of your energy bill. As well as this, when you leave a room, make sure that you turn the lights off. We know that it doesn’t feel as though you’re using energy because it’s what you’re used to, but if you want to stop paying through the nose so much, this is important.
You can look up other ways to save, and there are a few more such as getting better insulation. Just remember that this is more of a long-term goal, so you might not see any immediate savings.
Always Set Aside For Savings
As I mentioned earlier, you should always be setting some money aside for savings. The more that you can do this, the better it is going to be for you. I know that when you’re on a tight budget it can be tough to find the motivation to save, as you want to use the little money that you have left for the things that you love, or things for your children. However, if you can manage to put at least some of this in the savings pot, future you is going to thank you greatly when you need it.
If you think that you’re going to struggle with this, you can even start putting this into your budget if you think that it will help.
Credit Cards Are Not The Solution
The final thing that I’m going to say is that credit cards are not the solution to all of your problems, they are simply another problem that you are going to have. While it might not be a problem right now, it’s certainly going to be one when it comes time to pay it back, and that’s what you’ve got to keep in mind. Credit cards charge you interest, so even if you are borrowing some money, you’re going to be paying back a lot more than what you originally borrowed, which is not what you need in your life.
I wish someone had taught me this lesson before I went away to college and they were throwing free t-shirts and pre-approved credit cards at me. It has become like a chain around my neck. A lot of people view credit cards as something for nothing, but this is simply not the case at all. It’s no free money, as my daughters used to think when they were little. A credit card is just a way to get money right now so that you can pay it back later. While it might seem like a fantastic solution to all of your problems, what’s the likelihood of you being able to pay it back when the time comes, over the minimum payment? It’s a vicious cycle that you are better off never getting involved in as once you start, it’s extremely difficult to stop. This is especially true when a lot of credit card companies will up your limit without letting you know, and you think ‘oh well I must be doing okay so I can spend more’ but this isn’t necessarily true. Live within your budget if you can, and you will be just fine.
We hope these tips are helpful to you. Now, you can see that even though managing finances can be difficult when you are a mom or dad, it can be made much easier. Sometimes, all it takes is breaking things down until they are small enough to be manageable. You don’t have to do everything at the same time, sometimes it’s taking your time and working through things at your own pace that is going to work out the best.