Ultimate Budgeting Hacks for Moms
| Budgeting for the family is never easy |
(photo credit: moneykey.com)
One of the most nerve-wracking things about adulting, especially with a family, is budgeting. Although it would seem logical to spend as little as possible of each paycheck in order to have larger savings, financial advisors suggest another mantra: save before spending. This means that one’s budget for daily expenses is what is left over after allocating for savings and other investments. We have some budgeting hacks here for moms (and dads!) to help get that little extra moolah and banish those petsa de peligro blues.
It is all too tempting to draw upon a savings account for everyday expenses, even if you already have decided to set aside a certain amount for your housing and home needs. To stop this practice and avoid trouble with catching up with utilities, rents, and mortgages, have another bank account separate from your payroll/joint checking/personal savings account, wherein you will set aside a set amount of money each month for your monthly payments. Automatic transfers also help make this process easier. You can even extend this practice for other monthly payments such as investments, educational funds, and plans, or health cards.
Cashless shopping is a double-edged sword: it is handy and convenient, but also an easy way to lose track of one’s expenses. This can lead to some very unpleasant surprises such as finding your credit card maxed out at a crucial time, or being presented with a staggering statement. To avoid this, we recommend keeping the credit card on hand only for emergencies such as hospital confinements, or transactions requiring credit cards such as travel. A cash-only budget will suffice for the daily, weekly, or even monthly expenses.
Instead of paying with credit or debit cards for online shopping, try the cash on delivery payment option. This will allow you to have a better handle on how much money you are shelling out, and help you avoid trouble from paying for delayed or canceled shipments.
Purchasing cleaning supplies, dry goods, pet food, and even toiletries in bulk has several advantages. It limits your trips to the store (and reduces expenses for transportation), reduces waste from packaging, and allows you to better divide up supplies for everyday use. It also gives you a little extra for emergencies and other contingencies such as household guests.
This is a great kitchen hack especially for very busy households wherein the groceries are done once a week or even less. Buy food items that can be cooked at the beginning of the week (ground meats, sauces, etc.), then divide these items to be repurposed over several days. For instance, a kilo or two of ground meat can be sautéed on Sunday and divided to make patties for lunches, pasta sauces for dinners, and other meal combinations.
Paying for gas or commuting fare can slowly add up to put a dent in your budget, especially if you live and work in different locations. To reduce this, schedule your trips and appointments in the same places. For instance, if you must head to one city for a client appointment, try to carry out all other errands and trips that can be done in the same area such as visits to government offices or bills payments. This will reduce the number of times you need to head out from home to different places, and help you conserve your time and energy.
Calling a plumber may seem counterintuitive due to the expense. However, making sure that leaks are fixed immediately will save you additional costs in your water bill. The same goes for appliances that may be using up more energy due to defects or wear and tear. The short-term expense of repair pays itself back through long-term savings.
There you go, moms! With these tips, you can sleep soundly at night knowing that the family gets all they need without compromising your budget.