Now more than ever is the time to learn how to budget and save money. A study reveals that families need more than $227,000 between the time the child is born and their 18th birthday. The rising cost of living expenses can no longer compete with what we make every day. But hope is not lost. The skill of managing finances must also be learned and honed. It is not impossible to learn how to handle money well even if you’re in your 40s or 50s.
Whether you’re living in Utah or another state, your mortgage is on top of your priority list. Your must-pay includes mortgage or rent, insurance, transportation, food, utility bills, and clothing. If you have kids, you also have to spend on school and other activities. It’s a never-ending process of earning and spending—sometimes more than what you can earn. It’s a cycle, and it gets exhausting to the point of breakdown.
Learning how to manage money should be easy if you put your mind to it. By being financially responsible, you’ll make your payments on time, save enough for an emergency, keep debts at a manageable level, and avoid money anxiety. You will get the most of how much money you make.
Make a Meal Plan
One of the surest ways to put a damper on your budget is making an impromptu trip to McDonald’s. A home-cooked meal will cost less than $2 per family member, but a fast-food meal will cost about $5 each—that’s not counting the soda. You can splurge on food occasionally. That’s why a meal plan is important. You’ll be able to compute how much you need in a week for your family meals. It also saves a lot of time.
Be a Smart Shopper
Yes, it’s important to know how to use coupons, but that’s not what makes you a smart shopper. Write down a list of the items you need to buy. Go to the grocery only once a week. Going to the store every time you need a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread will cause you to overspend. Avoid picking up items that are not on your list. Stay away from junk food, too. Chips—the good ones—are expensive.
Spend on Reusable Items
A roll of paper towel costs $1 or more. Bottled water costs about $.50. Instead of using a paper towel and bottled water, why not invest in washable clothes and reusable water bottles? They may cost more upfront, but you’ll save a lot of money in the end. You will also help save the environment if you stay away from disposable items.
Stay at Home
There’s nothing wrong about hosting parties at home. It is economical and more convenient. Why not entertain friends at home instead of going out for dinner and drinks? From time to time, it’s okay to take the kids to the mall and the zoo. Find some activities that do not cost a lot of cash.
Small and simple methods will help you save for the future. Think about it as an investment for what lies ahead. It’s always important to have an emergency fund in case you get laid off from work or there’s a medical issue in the family. You’ll be thankful that you have taken measures to have a little in the bank.