7 Savings Tips for Families

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7 Basic Money-Saving Tips for Families

Many families are becoming more knowledgeable about the importance of budgeting and saving than ever before. There are literally dozens of ways the average household can cut expenditures and save more money each month. To help you get started on the seemingly overwhelming task of controlling your family’s spending, here are seven basic money-saving tips to abide by:

Distinguish Between Needs and Wants

For many families, the line between needs and wants has become increasingly blurred. Most people are surprised by how much you can save once you learn not to mistake wants for needs. Needs are simply the items your family needs to survive including clothing, food, shelter, and transportation. Wants are the items that would enhance or improve your family life but are not inherent to your survival. That includes the designer jeans instead of the more moderately priced jeans — or the extra two pairs which will seldom leave the closet. So while your family probably needs a car, it probably doesn’t need the luxury SUV to get around. This isn’t to suggest that you shouldn’t have the things you want but purchasing wants when you really don’t have the money is a recipe for fiscal disaster.

Accept Delayed Gratification

Learn the joy of waiting until you can actually afford something. Save up for the new vehicle, instead of financing it. Save up for the holiday instead of going and paying later.

Use Credit Cards that Pay

If you are going to use credit cards, switch to cards that pay you back in the form of cash dividends, miles, gas, or other goods you’ll use. Just be sure to pay off your balance in full before a full billing cycle (to avoid paying interest) and never charge something you can’t immediately pay off. If financial control isn’t your strong suit, you may be better of simply making purchases using cash.

Learn to Shop Wisely

Watch for specials and use coupons. There are more opportunities to enjoy the same things at a better cost, if you shop around.

Be Accountable

Family members need to pull together to maintain the family budget. Reevaluate your priorities. Recognize that habits formed when you are younger become increasingly difficult to change. Assuming you will save later, is a poor choice.

Track Monthly Expenditures

Determine just how much it costs to run your household by tracking expenditures for exactly one month. Not only will this help you devise a budget, it can also help you pinpoint areas where your family can save more money.Do you immediately know your fixed costs, or do you have to think it through and add it up? Do you know how much you are investing and are you investing more than you are spending on discretionary spending?

Budget, Budget, Budget!

Let’s face it no one really likes budgeting; it can be cumbersome, time-consuming, and for many, a rude awakening to reality. To make it easier and more enriching, make budgeting a family affair by involving your spouse and children. This will make it easier for everyone to stick to the budget and it can be a valuable learning experience for your children.

Read Consumer Product Reviews

When it comes to big purchases (think kitchen appliances or even a new car), everyone wants to get the most bang for their buck. To help you find the best models and products within your price range, consult consumer product reviews which can yield rich insights into how well a particular product works, how long it lasts and whether or not it’s worth your hard-earned cash.