If you have children – you need tips to deal with your family’s finances. When our kids were in diapers and we’d spend a fortune on diapers and formula – I’d say I can’t wait… Then they were in sports, dance, gymnastics, karate – yup that costs plenty. High School – oh wait, can I have $20? College – well that’s a league of its own. Then adulthood – more… Grandchildren – more…
Unfortunately life requires money – I totally wish it didn’t and often find myself dreaming of the Grizzly Adams days of homesteading. But reality is reality – and we can step away from our lives for a bit but must come back.
Hornet Partners and Credit Cards
Those dreaded credit cards and they have saved us and gotten us into trouble a time or two. They have saved us a great deal in the last two years but now we need to pay for them. I strongly encourage everyone to have one or two cards and pay them off in a decent time-frame if possible. When not possible though – develop a strategy that works for you. There are several schools of thought – pay off the lowest balance first; payoff the highest interest rate first; pay off the highest balance first etc… I “practice” the pay off the lowest balance first then let that money snowball through all the others and it gets paid off faster than you can imagine. It takes discipline but it definitely works. No need to panic – just put the plan in place and stick to it. Hornet Partners can help – definitely no need to panic.
Eat home more. This one is simple. First, it is healthier for the most part – your family will inevitably eat less because they won’t feel like they need to eat it all; they will feel less of a need to indulge. Second, I can control the ingredients and make sure all of our nutritional needs are being met. Financially though – you don’t need to pay a tip; meals are far less expensive to prepare and you can easily make enough to freeze for later. There is an initial investment of time but it can pay that back easily with freezer meals that are ready made.
Free and/or Low Cost Entertainment
Do you know how much it costs a family of 5 to go to the movies nowadays? And the concession items cost more than the film does. Spend more time outside – walks, parks, hikes, biking, swimming, adventures and more. The possibilities truly are endless.
No Spend Days/Weekends
This applies to fast food, groceries, activities, etc… You don’t need to announce it – just do it. I bet the kids/family never even knows. Every day can easily be an adventure without spending money.
Shop Secondhand Stores
Actually this one I have always done and my kids love it. The variety we can find at these stores is far better than what we find at a retail establishment and we always find some treasures. Not only do we shop there for our needs but also we always keep an eye to what may be a great seller on Facebook Marketplace…
Ditch the Cable
Oh my gosh I feel like we were late to this trend but we definitely weren’t. There are so many awesome alternatives out there rather than cable with even more availability of shows and channels. This will not only save money by losing cable but it will also provide for Saturday night at home movie nights with the family with popcorn and make at home pizza! Incorporate some games and the night will be memorable.
Live Out of The Pantry
We do this quite a few times a year. Resolve to go the first week of the month living out of your pantry and freezer. Have a bunch of ingredients and no idea how to put them together to make a meal? Check out Supercook.com. Simply key in the ingredients you have on hand and it will match you up to so many recipes. The additional benefit is your family will learn to try new foods and meals.
Feel Free To Say No
Kids will ask for stuff – they just do and ALL THE TIME. If you are in the habit of saying yes, you will be forever in a financial downward spiral. It is okay to say no. I learned a long time ago that it was better to give my kids an allowance. The allowance isn’t based on behavior or chores or anything – it is simply an allowance. They get it every Saturday. But unless it is something for school or some other life requirement – I say no all the time and remind them to save their allowance or use their allowance. Now it is a way of life for them – even for my 5 year old grandson. He wants a toy – well it isn’t allowance day yet…
Save Money Without Trying to Save
I have actually written many posts about this and yes it is possible. Simple things like empty your pockets/wallet of change every night; always put your $1 bills aside to save; have some sort of roundup account – rounds up all your purchasing to the nearest dollar and transfers that automatically into a savings account; Digit.co – which analyzes your purchasing behavior and transfers money from your bank account (debit account etc) directly to its savings for that rainy day… There are many ways to save like this and they have definitely saved me a time or two.