A budget is a metaphorically drawn plan that outlines a person or organization’s projected expenses and income, typically over a specific period. Even though it sounds complicated, the success of your family’s finances depends on you knowing how to manage the money you have. You must know how much money you have in your bank accounts, where it comes from, and where it goes. Without that information, it is impossible to make intelligent decisions about how you will spend your money. It is equally important that everyone in the family knows what their income is and how they can get access to more of it.
- Use a Prepaid Phone
Many people have monthly payment plans with their provider that are upwards of $100; this number will vary based on the number of minutes you buy, data coverage, and the rest of the bells and whistles that come with your plan. If you move to a prepaid plan, you can decide how much time, text messages, and data coverage you need each month. Then, each month when you get your bill, you will have a budget to allow your minutes, texts, and data. Without this decision-making power over the amount of money that goes into your phone bill, the cost of the phone is going to skyrocket reasonably quickly.
- Get Wi-Fi Instead of Cable
There are plenty of ways to watch TV without paying a cable bill, and you might find yourself going to these ways more often as your television entertainment needs change. If you get wi-fi instead of cable, you can take advantage of services that allow you to stream content from anywhere on your smartphone or computer. If time-shifting or DVR is not your cup of tea, then there is no need to waste money on expensive cable packages.
- Downgrade Your Phone Plan
If you have a smartphone and a data plan that gives you more than you need, it is time to downgrade your plan. Many providers now offer very inexpensive programs that include only minimal texting and data. These plans allow you to call and text, but they do not have any data coverage. If you are not a data user, this is a convenient way to save money on your phone bill each month.
- Use Money-Saving Apps
Today, there are plenty of money-saving apps for your smartphone. Most of these apps will allow you to find coupons at local stores and online retailers that you can use during your next shopping trip. Sometimes, the discounts offered by these apps can give you up to 50 percent off of your total bill, so it is worth downloading them to your smartphone.
- Pay for Things in Cash
Instead of using your credit card for everything you buy, start using cash instead. One of the most important things you can manage your money is to make sure it is wholly accounted for. Using cash makes it easier to keep track of where your money goes each month, so start paying with cash and maintain a direct record of how much you spend at every store.
The key to saving money in your family’s monthly budget is to grasp the electronic systems you use daily. You can find free tips on how to save money here. The knowledge about saving money never stops growing, so pay attention and remember that you and your family need what you are learning about lower-cost ways of getting the things you need every day.