Tag Archive | "finances"

How To Keep Track Of Family Spending Without Being Obnoxious

There’s a fine line between keeping track of the money that your family is spending and becoming an obnoxious jerk about it. You’re not going to be very popular in your family if you follow everyone around with a notebook and pen jotting down all of the expenditures that are being made. Not only will it seem very crass, bu it will really take a lot of fun out of things that should be enjoyable. There’s a better approach.

We know it’s important that we keep track of where the money is going. We can’t just spend recklessly and blindly without accounting for where funds are flowing. So how do we track expenditures without being obnoxious about it?

Think about how how many of us make purchases. We either use a check, or we use a credit card. While it’s true that we sometimes use cash, that cash often comes straight from a bank checking account or savings account. You’ll see how you can track the cash in a moment. But let’s initially turn our attention to credit cards and checks.

Do you literally have to be standing over someone’s shoulder looking to see who they’re writing a check to at the moment the check is being drafted? How about when someone is making a credit card purchase? Do you literally have to be right there monitoring what the money is being spent on? See, this is what would make people feel a bit uncomfortable. Doing things like this would be obnoxious — and they’re completely unnecessary.

You can easily audit checking accounts at the end of the month and even look at the checkbook to see where the checks were made out to — assuming accurate records are kept, which they usually are. Credit cards are laughably simple to monitor. Every purchase results in a line-item entry when you get your monthly statement.

This brings us to cash. How can you monitor that? While it’s not as easily monitored, you can at least get a general sense of how much cash has been spent based on ATM transaction notices that are listed on your banking statements.

By following this advice, you can accurately monitor expenditures without being obnoxious about it. It’s not as hard as it might initially seem!

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Family Budgeting 101 – What You Need To Know Now

Every family that plans to have a solid financial foundation needs to have budget. This is something that can terrify a lot of people. They assume that having a budget is the equivalent of an austerity plan where everyone shares the same spoon and one can of soup and a loaf of bread is shared among everyone for the day. For some reasons, budgeting has been associated in the minds of far too many people with pain, sacrifice, and denial.

You need to really start by transforming the way you look at having a family budget and realize that you’re actually giving yourself the freedom to be able to have more of what you want without the stress and tension that typically accompanies making purchase decisions. Without making this mental transition, the idea of having a budget will be met with a lot of skepticism and scorn. So the very first thing you need to do is have a conversation with your family about why it makes sense to have a rudimentary budget — something is better than nothing.

Your family needs to come to an understanding that you cannot spend more than you earn insofar as income. It’s not a sustainable approach to life, regardless of how easy credit cards can sometimes make it for us to literally buy whatever we want without really stopping to think about the cost.

From a strategic standpoint, it always makes sense to ease into the process by starting to account for exactly how much money is being earned every month, and to account for how much is being spent — and on what. Remember, you can’t really create a budget out of thin air. That’s not practical. You want to start by measuring what’s happening in your family’s financial life. That will make it a lot easier for everyone to see the financial picture from which the family budget is being drafted.

Try to include suggestions and ideas from everyone in the family. Before long, you can gradually ease into having a realistic budget that helps your family save more money and to live a less stressful life. Not having a budget and leaving all of your finances in the dark will breed anxiety and uncertainty. Go ahead and implement the suggestions you’ve just been presented with. You’ll be glad you did.

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