Handling the finances for the household can be a tough job, one that should not be handled alone. Whether you have a significant other that you share the finances with, or you’d like to have a close family member or friend that you trust, it’s always good to have someone that you can bounce ideas off in order to make sure that you have set yourself up for success when it comes to the finances. Of course, you can always reach out to a financial expert as well if you are looking for someone who probably knows even more. Regardless, whether you are starting out or have been handling the finances for a while, there is always room for improvement, which is why we could always use a few tips.
Create an Emergency Fund
You never know what life will throw at you so it’s always good to be prepared as best as you can. Think about it, if you had a major expense such as an auto repair, a major household renovation, or even worse, a job-loss that may take you months to find a new job, you want to make sure you have a cushion so you don’t have to put on a credit card and further yourself into debt and worry about how you are going to repay the balance. If you can keep a few months’ worth of expenses in an account, you can give yourself the cushion you may need if the unexpected expense occurs.
Save by Going Grocery Shopping
Going out to eat is one of the largest unnecessary expenses that we can take on, so opting to go grocery shopping instead is already a step in the right direction, but you could be financially lost unless you have a plan. Leaving the house on a full stomach, with a list, and with coupons are great ways to ensure that you are maximizing savings at the register. Don’t forget about the fuel rewards as well, that by using your shopper rewards card you can accumulate points as well.
In order to free up extra money every month you need to reduce expenses, whether it is with spending money or just by lowering the normal expenses you incur on a monthly basis. Cutting the cable cord is a great way to at least save a couple hundred dollars a month by opting to get an HD antenna for the local channels, but a steaming network for around $10 a month you can still stay up to date with the best shows on TV, whether it’s HBO or Netflix, you can’t go wrong.
Take Advantage of Credit Card Rewards
Probably one of the best reasons to use a credit card for all purchases is the fact that by making the normal purchases you would make anyways you can earn rewards, whether it’s points you can redeem for gift cards, air miles, or even better, a check once a year with your cashback dollars. Sure, it can be tempting to rack up your credit card bill just to earn credit card rewards, so it will take some self-discipline to make sure your bill goes so high where you can’t pay off the balance by the statement due date and risk paying interest.
Earn Extra Money
I know the hours in a week are already limited to your work and family life as it is, but if you are looking for extra money, whether it is to fund an emergency account, payoff debt, or save for the future, it may be time to figure out how you can bring a little extra income into the household. Of course, you can find an extra job to fill whatever extra hours you have in a week, but a better way might be earning extra money by selling some of the items around the house that are collecting dust, whether that be by having a garage sale, selling items online, or even gathering up a donation to have a tax write-off.
Try a Budget
Having a household budget is hard, probably the reason why two-thirds of households cannot hold down a successful budget, whether that be by failing or not creating one at all. It’s a good idea to figure out how much is adequate to spend for necessary monthly bills, food, gas, and an allotted spending amount that will get you through the month. If you have having spending issues, try using cash instead of credit and you can spend what you have available, and when that runs out that’s it until the next paycheck.