Famous Family Tricks: Making the Best of a Small Budget

Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 1:00 PM | Leave Comment

Raising a family on a limited income is hard. Families in these situations have to make tough decisions every day in order to make ends meet and there is rarely any money left over to engage in fun family activities. However, it is possible to create a budget and live within your means and still enjoy some occasional extras.

Famous Family Tricks Making the Best of a Small BudgetFamous Family Tricks Making the Best of a Small Budget

  • Make an Outline

    First and foremost, gather all of the financial statements you have. This will include your bills, your bank statements, check stubs, and whatever else you may have that will outline the amount of money that comes in and goes out on a monthly basis.

    Start making a list of all of your regular monthly payments such as the mortgage or rent payment, utility bills, car payments, insurance, Internet, cable and phone bills.

    These are the bills you get every month and for the most part don’t change. Then, start adding in your variable expenses such as groceries, gas, and extras that you are currently spending money on.

    Add these expenses together to see how much you are spending every month.

  • Prioritize

    Next, compare your income to the bills on the list. Does your income cover the list? If not, you need to prioritize the list in order to understand where you can begin to make changes.

    Payments such as your mortgage or rent payment, utilities and food should top the list, while less important payments such as cable and Internet should find themselves way down the list.

  • Cut Back

    Begin analyzing the different services your household subscribes to in order to see where you can begin cutting expenses.

    If you subscribe to cable television services, consider cutting back on the level of service you receive.

    For instance, if you get movie channels, consider letting those go. You can rent movies from kiosk or Internet services such as RedBox and Netflix for considerably less than carrying a monthly movie channel subscription and will actually get to watch the movies you want to see.

    You can save even more money by canceling your cable service altogether, and subscribing to a streaming service such as Hulu Plus or Netflix.

    The monthly charge is considerably less, and you can watch the shows you like whenever you want, commercial-free. You can purchase an antenna in order to watch local broadcast television for free.

  • Phone Expenses

    You can also save money on your cellular telephone bill and Internet services by choosing a less luxurious package, or by bundling services.

    Many carriers these days offer a multitude of services and will cut you a deal if you subscribe to more than one service. Or, you can choose to trade your regular monthly cellular phone package for less expensive, pay-as-you-go services.

  • Insure Your Insurance

    Take a look at your insurance services to see if you are paying for more coverage than you need. Then, get a couple of quotes to see if your monthly premiums are too high. If they are, consider making a change in insurance carriers or switching to a lower coverage option.

    You can also save money every month by increasing your deductibles. Talk to a Mid Valley home financing agent to find out if you qualify for any kind of discount.

  • Save on Groceries

    You can save money on food in a number of ways. First, if your income is significantly limited, consider applying for federal food assistance.

    If you qualify, you can receive money every month to help you offset the cost of feeding your family.

    If you don’t qualify, you can also receive assistance through local area food pantries and purchase groceries through a local Angel Food Ministry.

    Plan your meals several weeks in advance and then purchase those items that you need to make those meals.

    Refrain from buying more expensive name brand foods when lower priced generic ingredients will work, and don’t waste money on foods that don’t provide any nutritional value such as sodas, cookies and other processed items.

  • Pay Attention to Energy

    You can save money on your utilities as well. First, make some energy efficient changes such as setting your thermostat at a lower temperature during the winter and a higher temperature during the summer.

    You can ward off winter chill by cuddling up under a blanket, or by using fans to circulate air to keep rooms comfortable during the heat of summer.

    You can also apply for utility bill assistance through the LIHEAP program. Also, be energy conscious by turning off lights and other electronic devices when you aren’t using them.

These are just a few of the money saving tips you can employ to help balance your budget on a limited income.

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