Tag Archive | "getting started"

3 Tips That Can Help You Avoid Derailing Your Budget

Here are 3 easy tips that you can use to make sure that your family budget isn’t derailed. Don’t worry, these are NOT very hard to implement and you can start today. The reason you really want to think about this is because creating a budget is only half the battle. Most people are capable of putting together a basic family budget. The hard part is when you run into day-to-day situations that can put your commitment to sticking to the budget to the test.

1) Make sure you have some money put away for emergency situations.

This might take a little while to get set into place, but it’s really important that you set aside some money for emergency situations. Look, it’s a fact of life. Sometimes things will arise that are unexpected. For example, you might suddenly start experiencing car problems. You take it into the repair shop, and are quoted a couple hundred dollars to get it fixed. This ordinarily would break a family budget — but not if you have some money set aside to deal with situations like this.

2) Never go shopping without having a clear idea of what you’re going to buy.

The last thing you want to do is go shopping with only a vague idea of what it is that you need to get. That’s the last thing you want to do. Why? It’s far too easy to buy things that aren’t really even necessary or that you had no intention of purchasing. How often have we gone to a store and suddenly spotted something that caught our interest. Before long, we’ve added it to our shopping cart. This adds up and can bust a family budget easily.

3) Don’t treat your credit cards as being a source of “free cash.”

This is a biggie. The last thing you want to do treat your credit cards as a source of “free” cash. This is a recipe for disaster. You need to make sure that any purchases that you make on your credit card are within your budget. However, a lot of families often find it far too tempting to charge things without really thinking about whether or not it’s a necessary expenditure.

If you heed this advice, you’re more likely to stick to your family budget and to avoid doing the things that can derail it.

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Should Your Children Have To Earn Their Allowance?

For quite some time a philosophical debate has been raging. Many parents wonder whether or not it makes sense for a child to have to “earn” their allowance. In other words, should the kids have to do something around the house to actually earn the allowance that they receive — or should it freely be given with no strings attached.

To the extent you’re married, or have a partner who is helping you raise children, it’s important that you have a conversation about this topic so that there can be clarity and consistency. We as parents love our kids. We want the best for them, and sometimes we feel guilty. Why would we feel guilty? Many of us have to work long hours and we often don’t really feel as if though we get to spend enough quality time with our children. As a way of compensating for this, we sometimes indulge our children by getting them nice gifts of providing them with money.

As it relates to allowances, sometimes we just feel it’s better to give them the money without them having to do anything to earn it. This actually makes us feel better about ourselves because we want our kids to know we love them even though we spend long hours away from them at work. However, is this really in the best interests of the child? That’s the challenging conundrum that a lot of parents face.

When you think about the reality that your child will encounter upon leaving the protective shelter of your home, will they be given money for doing nothing? Probably not, unless they become a celebrity — of course, that’s said in jest. But the very serious question that parents have to ask themselves is whether or not they’re ultimately training their children to expect something for nothing by not attaching an allowance to any work output.

Most experts suggest there’s a middle ground. You can certainly give your child an allowance that’s not based on specific tasks being completed, but rather, for helping out around the house when asked and for being generally helpful when help is needed. That’s a reasonable approach worth considering.

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The Easy Way To Show Your Kids How To Save Money

There are a lot of different ways that you can show your kids how to save money. But there’s always a bit of uncertainty over which method might be best. Let’s talk a little bit about some of the reasons why it’s important to have this conversation with your kids, and also provide some strategies that you can use to make the process a lot easier.

One of the key reasons many parents needs to talk to their kids about saving money is because it will provide them with a solid foundation for their own future. After all, very few people can simply live off interest and dividends without having to worry about where the money comes from. So it’s imperative that you have a low-key, relaxed conversation with your kids that helps get them to start thinking about why it’s important to save money. Aside from the obvious reasons like being able to buy the things that they’d want and need in the future, there is another important reason that kids need to realize — the unexpected situations in life that present themselves that require money in a hurry. You need to have some money put away to meet those challenges.

With that said, here are some strategies that you can use to help you have a positive, meaningful conversation with your kids about the importance of saving money. Try to use as many real-life examples as possible. Kids will often relate better to stories than to cut-and-dry instructions that they need to follow. It’s also a good idea to ask your kids a lot of questions along the way, to make sure that they’re actively thinking about what’s being discussed as well as to hear what they might come up with as strategies for saving money.

Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to teach by daily example. You don’t have to make this an awkward situation where you bring up the topic of money at every turn, but our kids soak up what we do and learn by example. Show your kids how to save money by actively doing it and mentioning it every day. Before long, your kids will be well on their way to being financially savvy savers.

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Why Does Having A Budget Help A Family Make Financial Progress?

Families often wonder if having a budget will really help them make financial progress. Some even wonder how a budget is capable of making that possible in the first place. Let’s talk about why it’s so important for a family to have a budget. Once you understand this, it will become significantly easier to implement and maintain a budget for your and your family.

It is often said that we have a tendency, as people, to take more of an interest in those things that we track and monitor. Nothing is more important to your family finances than to track and monitor the amount of money that comes in every month as income, and how much money is spent every month. This provides a family with a crystal clear sense of where they’re at insofar as their financial stability.

Imagine for a moment how stressful it would be not to really know how much money you’re actually getting to keep at the end of every month after everything is counted. This is actually a reality for a lot of families. They generally know how much money they’re earning, but they do a terrible job of tracking where that money goes. They might have a vague notion of what they spend money on, but if you were to ask them to give you precise numbers, they’d be incapable of doing so.

Only by tracking and monitoring where you spend the money you have can you really begin to get a clear sense of what your monthly financial picture looks like. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that everything is fine just because you haven’t started getting phone calls from bill collectors.

Go ahead and take the time to start monitoring how much money you and your family earn, and how much you spend every month. Try to be as detailed as possible with regard to how the money is spent. Then, when you sit down to craft a budget, you can be realistic because you have a very clear understanding of where the money is already being spent.

Having this kind of knowledge will help your family make financial progress because you’ll be able to start allocating money for savings and investments as well as cut down on unnecessary expenditures.

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