5 Budgeting Tips for Families

Best Budgeting Advice for Families

  • Set Mini Goals
  • Seek Tax Savings
  • Use Budgeting Software
  • Have a Safety Margin
  • Find Food Savings

Households and families that enjoy financial freedom are usually the ones that take budgeting tips seriously. Doing so allows them to better forecast their expenditures and utilize their income effectively. So, what are some of the best tips that everyone should know about?

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Set Mini-Goals

In order to stay passionate about budgeting, which is definitely not an exciting venture, there must be some incentives. Setting mini-goals is a great solution here. For instance, taking the entire family on a trip once a certain saving milestone is reached would be a great way to motivate them. The fact that there is a tangible reward at the end of the process will allow them to stay consistent in their pursuits. In addition, having such mini-goals is an excellent way to get creative and figure out unique rewards.

Seek Tax Savings

The number of U.S. families that do not maximize their tax savings is incredibly high. While there are many reasons why they fail to do so, a clear lack of knowledge is usually on the top of the list. For instance, according to Forbes Magazine, the way that filers are supposed to use their kids and dependants significantly changed with the passage of the new tax law in 2017. Unfortunately, most Americans are not accountants and do not care about the taxation process. That lack of interest often leads to lower savings.

Use Budgeting Software

Just like most families in the U.S. do not have trained accountants for family members, they will also seldom be comprised of professional budget makers. Due to this, finding software that can help with cash flow management is vital. Besides improving accuracy and reducing errors in calculations, automating the budgeting process can offer advanced features such as payment reminders and automatic integration with bank accounts. This will help families stay on track with their overhead expenses that repeat on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis. Not to mention that budgeting software can practically teach someone many valuable financial strategies.

Have a Safety Margin

According to CBS News, as many as 57 percent of all Americans would be unable to cover an incidental expense of $500. Instead, they would need to borrow funds and open themselves up to debt in order to make such an unexpected payment. Although there are some serious underlying issues here, families should budget in a way that helps them cover surprise expenditures. That means that they should always have a safety margin that amounts to a few of their monthly salaries. By keeping those funds on the side, they would be able to avoid debt and cover emergency cash outflows.

Find Food Savings

Given that the rough estimate of the average household spending on food is 13 percent of after-tax income for most U.S. families, budgets should include food-based saving strategies. Some examples include buying in bulk with wholesalers such as Costco and Sam’s Club, using coupons, and relying on cash-back credit cards. All of those tips are fairly simple and easily applied in real life. Moreover, they can accumulate to thousands of dollars in savings over a period of just a few years. Those savings can subsequently go towards the safety margin or the aforementioned budgeting milestones.

Finally, learning how to actually make short and long-term budgets is probably the best way to improve financial outlooks. Although it may be time-consuming and tedious, taking a formal class on that topic could be extremely advantageous. After all, even an endless amount of budgeting tips will be futile for families who lack basic monetary consciousness.