As a single person you may not have taken the time to budget your finances, at least not seriously. But things have changed now and you are now the proud parent of one or more children and you will not be able to get by on just “winging it”. If you do so, your money will be flying out the window as fast as a speeding train. So, what can you do?
Here is some simple advice on making a budget to follow and different ideas on how to cut back on expenses:
• Involve your kids and family in your budgeting goals and keep your records simple
• Open a notebook and write down what you make every month
• Write down EVERYTHING you spend in a month from food to utilities, snacks and newspapers (This may be something you will need to spend a few days on to take into account all that you actually spend throughout your day)
• Once you have both written down, compare income to expenses and see if you are overspending
• If so, think about which expenses and costs you can cut down on.
If you can’t cut down on any of the expenses due to necessity, think about getting another job or finding another source of income. Maybe buying a coffee out every morning is where you biggest expense is. This is easily remedied by buying coffee at the grocery store and making it yourself. Or buying your kids lunch out may be costing you more than you know, a good idea is to learn how to prepare quick, delicious, and nutritional lunches for them to take with them. Be creative and thoughtful when it comes to your budgeting and try to avoid unnecessary expenses. It’s worth the time and effort and you’ll be surprised to see how money seems to appear out of nowhere when you’re budgeting.