Top 7 Money saving tips for women who manage the family budget
Research shows that when you are at a stay-at-home or part time working mum, you are mostly responsible for budgeting for your family. Now that the holiday season is over and we’re all looking at resetting for a new year, it is even more important to budget and spend wisely. Here are my 7 golden tips on how you can make budgeting easy and fun!
Tip #1 Live Below Your Means
Having a lot of money does not mean that you can spend it all. You always have to put away some as savings before you can spend. Take some time to research for discounts and sales – both online and offline that can stretch your budget.
Tip #2 Limit takeaways
It has become the norm to dine out and before you know you have spent nearly half your budget on eating out. When you cook at home, not only will it be cheaper, it will be healthier too. You have so many quick cook recipe options available on internet that can help you hone your skills! So, limit your takeaways for special occasions and bond over healthy home cooked, nutritious meals more often.
Tip #3 Cash over Credit
Did you know that if you use cash to buy things rather than swipe your credit card, you will monitor your spending better? Withdraw cash at the beginning of every week and then spend wisely. This doesn’t mean that you have to be stingy. But if you plan well and spend less, you get to keep the rest as an incentive to you (shh… don’t tell anybody just yet).
Tip #4 DIY Projects
The internet is so full of DIY projects for stay at homes. And it has gone beyond the conventional picture frame or pillow case. Today, you will be able to find many DIY projects that will help you reduce your expenses dramatically.
I’m not exaggerating here. It’s amazing how you can utilize different ingredients in your pantry for DIY bleach, DIY carpet stain removers, DIY hair spas and the like! This can be eco-friendly as well as a huge cut in your expenses.
Tip #5 Talk to your family about budgeting
Sit with your family and talk as a family about the family budget. If children want something (as opposed to needing something) then it goes under their personal budget. An example would be if your children want to go to a theme park with family and also a movie with their friends, it is all about them choosing between the two. This applies to every member of the family. When you get them to help and speak up, it is a very effective way of keeping harmony in the family and you can be sure that everyone stays happy and satisfied.
Tip #6 Set an Example
Your kids will not learn to be frugal if you don’t set an example. Make sure that you practice smart spending habits and don’t spend beyond your means. When you do this, you don’t need to teach your family about money, it just becomes a way of life for everybody at home.
Tip #7 Write it Down
It’s magical what a pen and paper can do when it comes to budgeting. Use apps to monitor and automate budgeting. In addition, have a list of everything you need to buy or pay for before running an errand – that’s the easy part. The more challenging part is sticking to this list. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it!
It’s so hard to juggle everything when you are the financial controller. Some people think it’s easy, but being faced with this kind of responsibility can actually be a very daunting task. Practice budgeting today and let the New Year be an amazing year!
Obu Ramaraj aka 'The Mortgage Angel' is the Director of Smart Money Solutions, a mortgage broking firm helping female professionals with their home loans. She is also the author of "Smart Women, Smart Home loans", blogger and a speaker.
Twitter: @smartloanbrokerWebsite: www.smartmoneysolutions.com.au