This post brought to you by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. All opinions are 100% mine.
We are a family of 5 and 3 fur babies and finances are always on my mind. I’m the one that handles the budget and tries to stretch it as far as we can but that alone doesn’t help. I have lots of little ways to keep our finances in check and since we talked about how to manage different household situations over the last few weeks from having a new baby to sending one off to college, I decided to share some tips on how we keep our finances in check. They are simple, but will really help you in the end.
Keep your Finances in Check with 5 Simple Steps
1. Open a Savings Account and have your employer, if they don’t already do, transfer 5% or what will work for your family at the moment into that account. Once the money is out of sight it’s out of mind and you will see how easy it is to save a little at a time and it will pay off big in the end. Transfer any extra earnings like Bonus or raises into savings as well, you adjusted to a certain income, everything above and beyond can go into a Family savings account that will be able to sit there for emergencies, family vacation or maybe a splurge to a Theme Park, but all the extra expense will not have to come out of your Monthly Budget.
2. Set a monthly Budget. That is very important; I have my budgets set into different categories from Food to kids to emergency expenses; each month I have a certain budget and if I don’t use it, I’ll just roll it over to the next month and so on; trust me emergencies will come and you are happy you have a little left from your budget to put towards that. Stick to your budget is also very important!
3. Use coupons! That’s not a joke or disgrace at all. Trust me, using coupons will help me put extra savings into our savings account, instead of paying the store for the things I need, I pay myself into savings for the things I WANT with the money saved! It is unbelievable how much money you can save by simply using coupons. I was able to cut our grocery bill from a family of 5 with 3 dogs from $800 a months ($200 a week) to $200 a month ($50 a week). Yes!! If I can do it, you can too!! That’s a savings of $600 and that will easily pay for a trip, a new car or emergency repairs!!
4. Open a separate account for your groceries. I have two checking accounts one we use for everything from the kids to monthly bills and the other account I fund with just Grocery money for the month. That way I can keep our food purchase separate from the regular account and always see how much we spent and how much we have left over at the end of the month to move to savings. Has worked for almost 5 years for us and we are loving it.
5. Keep a spreadsheet for your budget. Lay it all out for your husband and you to see. Show all your bills, credit cards and monthly expenses, you will see it’s amazing the things you didn’t realize you paid that you may be able to get cheaper elsewhere like Internet or TV setup. Also don’t ever use credit cards unless you have the funds to pay them off at the end of the month. You don’t want to add additional expenses to your budget that you don’t really have to. It’s always easier to put money into savings to pay for something down the road then to find extra money in a budget because you splurged on a $500 bed and now you have to come up with monthly payments that are now cutting down your budget!
These are just a few of my very own tips that help my family stay on budget and keep our finances straight; would love to hear what tips you have to keep your family on budget.
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How do you keep your Finances in Check? Would love to hear it!