As a parent, you’re going to have a lot of troubles and worries, particularly when you think about raising your kids. You’re going to wonder whether they are eating right or getting enough exercise. You’re going to think about whether they need help at school and if they are getting bullied by other children. Then there’s the future. Will your children get where you want them to be in life? Or, will they falter on the path of their chosen career. It’s difficult to navigate the harsh lands of being a new parent, so you certainly don’t want to add money to your list of problems.
But a lot of parents do have money issues and struggle with financing throughout the year. This is particularly common during the festive season when every week a new bill is leaving your account. Perhaps you bought a new toy for your kid, a Christmas tree or maybe you’re just getting all the food in. This is what the Christmas season is really about for parents. Children can gaze up at the sky looking for a flying sleigh. But as parents, we’re staring at the bills wondering if we’ve got enough in the bank to pay them. It’s not just Christmas of course, and many parents struggle to provide for their children throughout the entire year.
If you’ve ever been a position where you’re worried about money you need this advice. You need to know how you can get things back the way they should be. Stop worrying about money and start thinking about things that really matter.
I know that a lot of parents hate budgeting. They despise the idea that there is a fixed amount they can spend each month. Particularly when there are so many ways to cheat, go over it and then pay it back later. We’ll talk about borrowing further down but for now, let’s think about your budget. First, what does it take to set up a budget? You’ll need to look at your bank balance and work out how much goes out every month without failure. Then work out the bills that are constant yet adjustable. For instance, you won’t spent the same amount on the weekly shopping each month. After that, you can look at costs that occasionally crop up. These are your unexpected bills, and you must be prepared for them. Do not make the mistake of thinking that your average spending is what you need to account for. There are always going to be extra costs on top of that. By taking them into account, it will give you some wiggle room in your areas of spending.
You then need to subtract everything you spend from your monthly earnings. The amount you have left is your budget, almost. Not quite because ideally, you want to split that sum in half. One part should go straight into savings. Now, you have uncovered the amount you actually have to spend. Depending on your spendings it could be more or less than you hoped for. But make no mistake, that’s all there is right now. If you spend more than that on luxuries and little things through the month, you will go over your budget.
You do need to take that money out and put it in savings each month as well. If you don’t do this, you won’t have funds for rainy days. Again, rainy days come along far more often than people would care to admit. So, if you’ve taken this advice, you will be living on a budget. But you could still have issues with your finances.
Don’t Cheat The Budget
The easiest way to end up in financial trouble is to ignore your budget. You know how much you have to spend and you go over it anyway. You might wonder why anyone would do this and the answer to that question is quite simple. It’s easy, particularly when you have a credit card in your purse. You can buy whatever you like, then take your time paying it back. There’s just one problem with that. It’s too easy and before you know it you’ll have a massive credit card bill that you owe and can’t afford. This is how most people end up in debt. They don’t take out a bad payday loan. They don’t gamble their life savings. They just tend to use their credit card a little too often.
Of course, you do want to stay away from loans as well. A lot of people think that borrowing money is just a part of life. In a way, it is. You’ll find it very difficult to buy a home without borrowing some funds. Don’t forget a mortgage is essentially a loan that you’re taking out. But you don’t want to borrow all the way through the year just to get by.
You might then argue that you have to borrow. Your paycheck isn’t enough to provide everything that you want or need throughout the year. There are plenty of families who find themselves in this position. It might be single parents who struggle to provide for their kids with one paycheck. It could be because the job you are qualified for only offers minimum wage.
If that’s the case, then you need to look for ways to expand your income.
Expanding Your Income
If you have found that you can’t live on your budget or there’s no cash for savings, you need to expand your income. Obviously, the most logical way to do this would be to look for a job that offers a higher level of pay. Of course, this isn’t the only route that you can take. You can also think about setting up a new source of income. This is a way to make some extra money outside of your chosen career. One of the possibilities is what is known as a side hustle. With a side hustle, you can offer a skill that you have and get paid for it. One of the most basic forms of this is working as a tutor. If you have a child, you might find that their school need extra help from parents. Occasionally, this is only voluntary, but sometimes schools offer pay as well.
Blogging is another popular side hustle. Although, it does take a while to reach a point where your blog is making money. You will need to be patient as it won’t pay off straight away. Although, I have heard that many people have used blogs to pay off debt that they have accumulated.
You can also think about investments and money that you can inject into different areas. If you already have some cash built up you could invest in lots of different areas. Though one of the most popular is property. You will need quite a lot of money to invest in property. But if you do, you could double or even triple your income.
Cutting Down Costs
Or finally, if you are spending over your budget, you need to think about whether there are ways to reduce your costs. Usually, there are possibilities to look into here. For instance, you might be able to cut down on your energy spending. By doing this, you should be able to reduce your energy bills by as much as twenty-five percent. That might not seem like a lot, but when you look at the cost annually, it sure will be. One of the easiest ways to do this is to just watch how much energy you’re using and don’t waste it. For instance, try to avoid spending more than ten minutes in the shower. Or, just don’t leave plugs on when the electrical equipment isn’t in use. Do this, and you’ll be amazed how much your energy bill drops.