No matter how financially-sound a household may be, creating a budget will provide a number of advantages to a family. Whether it is teaching children about responsibility or finding money for a second vacation each year, here are six simple tips for making a budget and sticking to it.
1. Prepaid Charge Cards
At some point children will need their own private account and credit cards, but a prepaid card is a much better option for the earlier years. These cards can be used almost anywhere, the monthly limit can be automatically deducted, and there are absolutely no late fees.
This can be a great learning opportunity for children and teens. By giving them a card they will feel you are trusting them with something that seems mature. You can let them know the amount that will be put on the card weekly or monthly and have them see the importance of budgeting their money and how they want to spend it. Many teens who don’t have experience with debit or credit cards can really abuse the privilege when they are older. By starting them at a younger age, they can learn self control and the importance of budgeting at a young age as well.
2. Skipping the Supermarket
Skipping the weekly supermarket trip does not mean starving one’s family and it can be used as a simple tool to stay within one’s budget. By skipping a single trip to the store, a family will make do with the excess food that they have on-hand without spending hundreds on groceries.
3. Automatic Deductions
Those that fail to setup automatic deductions for their bills may be looking at negative points and a visit to https://www.creditrepair.com/. By setting up automatic deductions at the start of any new account, a family can keep their credit score moving up and not sliding backwards.
4. Finding Deal-Conscious Friends
One of the most difficult parts with sticking to a budget is finding a group of friends that are also conscious about their spending habits. By finding friends that enjoy excursions that are affordable or free, a family can steer clear of awkward situations or excessive spending.
5. Rounding Up
Whether the budget is for new clothing or weekly groceries, it can be easy to round down when counting prices instead of rounding up. If a meal is $8.15, it is easier to simply consider it a $9 meal and not wonder were that extra cash went that month.
6. Staying Honest with the Family
Instead of telling a spouse or children that money is tight, it is often better to go over a budget as well as the final goals of the budget. A family will often be much more inclined to do their own share when they know that their hard work is leading towards a new car or an extra vacation in the coming years.
Creating a budget does not mean a family has to forsake their favorite pastimes. Smaller steps can be made that will cut costs without degrading day-to-day happiness.
Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to rein in the budget.
I like tip #1 to use prepaid charge cards. Despite what most people think, teaching kids to use plastic is imperative, as there are some things in life that just require a card. Ignoring this fact sets our kids up for failure as soon as they are able to qualify for a real credit card on their own.
Might I suggest, however, that before parents give kids a prepaid card, they start with cash and a budget to ensure that their kids understand real, hard cash. Too often today, kids think of money as virtual – and unlimited. By teaching them to manage money first using green money, they will learn an important lesson: that when money is handed over to someone else, it is gone. Even though this seems like common sense, years of people going into debt because they *didn’t* understand this basic fact suggests that many don’t understand. We can do better for our kids.
Tracie, I couldn’t agree more with your suggestion. I’d rather kids not use credit at all, but that’s not an easy request in this day and age.