Starting a family is easy but holding it together through the tough times can be very difficult.
With food prices and rent increasing, many families face an uphill struggle just to ensure they are keeping up with paying the bills, heating their homes and feeding everyone. There are a few tools which can make it a lot easier, however.
Here we go through some of them and outline a few of the secrets to family budgeting.
Use online tools
With everything going online today, you’ll find plenty of great programmes you can use to get ahead where budgeting is concerned. An annuity calculator from Money Vista will help you to plan ahead for when your children have flown the nest and you are facing the prospect of retirement. It can help you work out what type of annuity might provide you with a suitable source of income in your later years and even takes into account such factors as whether you plan to live alone or as a couple and how much you expect to pay in and see returned to you
Remember that family budgeting is about more than the here and now. While you need to take care of any immediate needs, you also need to keep that rainy day fund topped up. Your children may want to go to university or ask you for help when buying their first car or placing a deposit on a property. Anything you can do to help will be greatly appreciated so do what you can to plan for these milestone moments by saving wherever possible.
Perhaps the biggest secret to successful family budgeting is being realistic. If you set yourself goals which are virtually unobtainable then you’re setting yourself up for failure. This won’t encourage you to continue with the task, leading to a failed situation all round.
Instead, review your finances and come up with goals which are realistic. You can even give yourself different targets with varying levels of difficulty so that it’s easier to get started. Start small with something as simple as cutting your weekly food bill down to a certain amount before tackling bigger ideas. The success and satisfaction you gain from these initial goals will give you the confidence to continue with your budgeting plans and equip you with the skills needed to achieve them.
Remember that it is often the smallest changes which have the biggest differences and just as your children learnt to walk through slow and constant perseverance, so too will you learn how to budget … one baby step at a time.