Having a family and trying to follow a good financial plan can be challenging at times. These money management tips can help you figure out how to.
It's no rocket science to figure out that the cost of living has been skyrocketing every day, but unfortunately, your income and family responsibilities aren't in sync with it. In such a situation, affording a young family of four, saving money, and paying on a single or couple of paychecks seems hard.
Undoubtedly, managing money only gets tricky here - there's no easy way to say this, but we are here to help you with these easy-to-follow tips.
1. Teach Kids to be Financially Independent
Financial independence isn't a synonym for child labor - so the earlier your kids embark on this practical journey, the better their financial future will be.
Your kids might not be going out for a 9 to 5 job when they grow up, but instilling the idea of earning money in their minds might excite them to consider opportunities like babysitting, tutoring, and even freelancing earlier.
Maybe the money they earn won't be a lot, but it will give them a fair understanding of earning and spending their hard-earned money.
Not only will your kids be aware of saving money and not overspending it - but they will eventually get rid of the habit of asking for pocket money.
It's not that we don't love pampering our kids - but meeting the constant demands of two children can sometimes take a toll.
Once they stop relying on you to fulfill their financial needs - imagine the amount of money you'll be able to save for their education or your retirement.
2. Keep Bills on Foods and Groceries Low by Meal Planning
Meal planning is one of the most cost-effective solutions for families, especially those with tight budgets.
An average person spends around Rs. 3000 every month just on basic food expenses - now, multiply it by 4 - that's a lot.
Planning your meals not only saves you money but gives you flexibility in time as well. Here's how you can do effective meal planning:
Plan all the meals for the next week
The first step of meal planning is to plan what you and your family will eat four times a day and seven days for the next week.
Though it might seem a little intimidating, doing so will help you understand what to buy and what to strike off the list.
Allot one whole day for grocery shopping
Considering you and your spouse are working parents, grocery shopping on weekends makes perfect sense.
Keeping one whole day for groceries will give you ample time to walk around and compare the prices and avail better deals.
We suggest taking your entire family with you, even the kids - because the more hands to help, the better.
Make a list of the groceries throughout the week
You need to pick up numerous items from a grocery store, and if you sit down to make a list only once a week, there are high chances you will miss out on some of the items.
But if you plan it throughout the week, you can keep adding items eventually to the list as and when you remember.
If you want great deals and fresh grocery items, there is no alternative to going early to the shop.
The earlier you go, the smaller the crowd will be, and the better the deals will be.
You can even take a sneak peek at the farmer's markets if you head early for fresh farm produce.
Give yourself a cash limit
Once you're at the grocery store, there will be enough room for temptation, but giving yourself a cash limit might help.
We suggest not using your credit card at all while checking out. Otherwise, you might end up overspending.
3. Plan Ahead for Events and Holidays
As a family, you sure look forward to celebrating all the holidays with your loved ones by your side.
However, being a family of four, you have to plan how to utilize your finances around these holidays and events throughout the year.
Start budgeting for every event and decide how much you can afford to spend on each.
Now, create a separate fund to save up for these events.
We suggest starting at least three months early for holidays as you can get the tickets and hotel bookings at a comparatively cheaper price than the seasonal rates.
Planning early also gives you enough time to purchase gifts when there are deals and offers throughout the year.
Getting these gifts during sales not only brings down your costs but also opens room for some savings.
If you shop online, the scope of savings will only increase because the deals are even better online.
4. Bring Down Your Housing Costs
Affording regular housing costs is no less than a challenge - beginning with air conditioning, to thermostats, house mortgages, and more.
Though there's no way to put a complete full stop to these housing expenses, cutting them by a certain percentage is always possible.
For example, you can always install sensors or go for electronics with power-saving modes to turn on and switch off the air conditioning or thermostats automatically - switching them on and off manually now and then can hamper the lifetime of the machines.
If you own a house, renting a portion of it out or listing it as a vacation rental is also a great option to go for. Doing this won't call for any investment but will result in great returns over time. Who doesn't want that?
Before we go
We get you - it might feel intimidating to manage a young family of four, considering the inflation right now; however, the key to success here is to include all your family members in this financial journey.
Now, you are possibly thinking about keeping the saved money in your savings account, right?
While it's the initial thought that if your goal is to grow your money, such an approach might not benefit you.
For someone new to the investment journey, it might take a while to get a grip on things - until then, grow your money with Jar.
Jar not only helps you inculcate the habit of saving but also allows you to grow your money by investing it in digital gold.