Budgeting isn’t a word that’s typically associated with ideas of happiness. The concept of looking at your finances and placing parameters on spending feels more restrictive and limiting than anything else. But what if we told you that family budgeting can actually open doors you never thought possible? That budgeting is a pathway to more happiness and opportunity for you and your family?
When you flip your mindset on this topic, budgeting has really nothing to do with repressing your lifestyle, and has everything to do with elevating it.
Family Budgeting Ideas You Can Start Today
Mindset Over Numbers
Of course, you probably already know that we’re not financial advisors, so you’re not going to find advice here that features actual numbers or percentages here. Instead, you’re going to see easy, practical tips and tricks we’ve learned as moms who are raising a family that can be applied to any situation.
So, first of all: why budget at all? The decision to budget is a personal (and family) decision and there aren’t any one-size-fits-all answers; however, in general, budgeting can be a great “reset” if you feel off track or like you don’t have a good handle on how you’re truly spending your money.
So, as you’re considering budgeting for your family, we’ve compiled a few different ways we’re budgeting in our own homes to help inspire you to see new and creative ways to budget. From eating in more to big-picture finances, we have ways of turning something about numbers into something about elevating your lifestyle.
3 Budgeting Ideas That Work For Us
Family Budgeting Idea #1: Don’t make it about dollars at all.
Numbers not your thing? Go with items instead. If eating out is your kryptonite, then set a number of meals out for the month. For example, a family might choose 5 meals out for the month that can be “spent” whenever the family decides to use them. Interestingly, when you set a certain number of meals out, you tend to “bank” them and be more selective when you decide to cash them in since once you’ve reached your selected number, you’re done for the month. It’s more of a psychological trick than strict numbers-based budgeting – and you’d be surprised how well it works! This can work for a slew of other items – anything area you feel like you might’ve gone off track with spending.
Family Budgeting Idea #2: Re-evaluate your subscription services.
We love them, of course, but subscriptions are really easy to let get out of hand. From food delivery services to entertainment and more, you might be spending more per month than you think.
Start by looking at your bank statement and see what recurring charges are happening due to subscription services. Then, prioritize what’s important to you and your family. (Don’t be surprised if you see some subscription services you have literally forgotten you even have!) Try to cut out at least one subscription, even if it feels uncomfortable at first. You might find that you’re just fine without one or two services, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars.
Family Budgeting Ideas #3: Get back to the basics.
Set up a A, B, C, and D accounts.
Separate your finances into different accounts to reflect their different purposes. Visually seeing these separate accounts also makes it easier to divvy up your finances and choose fixed dollar amounts to distribute into each section on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis.
So, I Budgeted. What’s Next?
Streaming services and meals out are nice, but what gives you true joy? It’s become abundantly clear that we sometimes sacrifice long-term goals for short-term conveniences. So, what are your long-term, big-picture goals? Whether it’s planning for retirement or going on family vacations, most of these goals are about meaningful experiences with the people who hold near. So, when you’re motivating yourself to budget, look at it as an investment in your family and yourself.
When it comes down to it, budgeting isn’t at all about restricting your lifestyle. Budgeting is actually all about investing in a meaningful lifestyle, one full of experiences and connection. So, get inspired with these simple, doable family budgeting ideas and get to living your very best life with those who mean the most.
Bee well, friend!
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