New Year’s Resolutions for Your Family’s Budget

clock in party hat

 





 

As we wind down into the final days of the year, people are already starting to look ahead and try to figure out how to make next year better. Maybe your family has struggled with finances this year. Maybe you’ve had some trouble making ends meet. There always seems to be too much month left at the end of the money, rather than the other way around. That’s to say nothing of the massive credit card bills you’re going to see in January from all of that holiday shopping. New Year’s resolutions give us an excuse to start over.

If your family falls into this kind of situation, here are some ways you can improve your budget over the coming year:

  1. Know how much you actually spend. With the advent of credit cards, debit cards, electronic services like PayPal and more, families don’t necessarily keep a checkbook and keep it balanced. This is one of the biggest potential sources of financial trouble for a family. In the coming year, track what your family actually spends and you’ll see all sorts of room for improvement.
  2. Set a budget and stick to it. Family budgeting is essential if you’re going to make ends meet. Without a budget, you’ll spend your money and not even be certain where it went. Some bills will get paid, others might not. If you have a written budget, you have a solid financial starting point.
  3. Make some extra money. All of the budgeting in the world won’t help if you simply don’t make enough to support your family. If you’re having trouble, consider taking on a part time job, or look into various careers you can do from home. Many successful businesses started as a way for a homemaker to bring in a little extra grocery money.
  4. Eat out less. One of the biggest family budget sinkholes is dining out. On average, a family of four will spend two to four times the amount on dining out as they would if they ate at home. Eating at home is one of the most effective ways to save money.
  5. Pay your bills first. When you get paid, pay your bills first. Don’t go out to celebrate payday, don’t buy that TV you’ve wanted for months. Pay every bill that’s due or past due, and then you can worry about other things.

Family budgeting isn’t easy or intuitive, but it must be done if you’re going to make it through these rough financial times.


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