Creating a budget is nobody’s idea of fun, but a properly planned out budget can do wonders when it comes to improving your life – especially if you’re doing so for a large family. That said, it certainly has its challenges and can be an expensive task due to the number of people living under one roof. However, with some careful planning in certain areas of expenditure, it means budgeting is possible and can be a success. If you feel like you are one of those families who are worried about the cost of living and needs some ideas, here are some tips:
You need a concrete reason to stick to your budget, so set some goals. Think about what is most important to you as a family. For example, big families with children might want to think about educational expenses as one of your goals. These goals should be a reflection of your interests as well as your needs, age and income. Make yourself a goal schedule that includes costs and a deadline for each. This way, together as a family you can work towards them and it will give you that boost you need to get budgeting.
If you are unsure about goal setting and budgeting and need some more help and advice. Check out the beginner’s guide to managing your money by the Money Advice Service.
Download a budgeting app
These really are nothing more than numerous spreadsheets with the details of your bank account and expenses. But, the fact that you can put them all together in one place is both convenient for you and very helpful to start the ball rolling on your big family budget. You can also create yourself spending and saving categories. This really is a great way to help make the most of your money and see exactly where it is all going. It also allows you to see what money you have left over to spend on treating your family to a day out.
Gotta Be Mobile have put together the top 14 best budgeting apps for 2017. Take a look and find the best one for you.
Plan your meals
Meal planning is a great way to save time, but ideally to save you money too. Look for the most cost-effective food and recipes. Some of the best ingredients to buy are:
- Sweet/normal potatoes
- Frozen fruit and veg
- Larger joints of meat for better value
- Brown rice
Not only is this healthier for you and the family instead of eating out or grabbing a takeaway, it’s a lot nicer for you all to as a family. Cook together and it’ll make it fun for the whole family.
Monitor your budget progress
You should review your budget every month to find out how well it’s working and if it’s working at all. You might need to make some adjustments and that’s completely fine as it is a normal part of the budgeting process. Stay motivated and celebrate small successes of being able to save something, even if it is a small amount. The point is just learning to know your limits and what you can and can’t be spending.
So, go and try out one, if not all, of these budgeting tips and make your everyday life that little bit better with less stress and less hassle when it comes to your finances.
In collaboration with Rachael Matthews