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Tips for Budgeting as a Family

Starting a family can be expensive – particularly if you don’t properly keep tabs on your money.
Budgeting should start from the early stages of pregnancy and deciding on baby names in order to make sure you’re prepared for the huge change in circumstances that comes with having a child.

Putting a budget in place, though, requires a strategic approach, so here are a few suggestions on getting started.

Do the Basics First
Before you can start saving money you need to work out where your money is going at present if you don’t know already. For instance, do you know how
you much you spend on food every month? If not, why not? Break your budget down in different subcategories like entertainment, accommodation, pets, children and food, detailing all your outgoings and incomings. And try and do budget forecasts months in advance to factor in upcoming costs.

budgeting for a family

photo courtesy 401(K) 2012 via Flickr

Identify How You Can Save Money
With the state of your finances laid bare on a spreadsheet, it should be easy to spot which areas you’ll be able to make savings. You spot that you’re spending far too much money on, say, takeaways, so straight away you can either cut down or cut it out completely. Set yourself a target for saving yourself a certain amount each week, month and year.

Plan, Plan and Plan Some for the Imminent Arrival
Take advantage of bulk-buy discounts on products that may come in handy once your little one arrives as you may not have the funds to afford them further down the line. Kitting out a nursery can cost a small fortune, so ask around amongst friends and family to see if you can borrow items instead of having to buy them outright.

Carry on Saving After the Birth
Keeping a tight control of your finances following the birth of your child is important or you may risk running into debt. Search online for discount codes and money-off vouchers on everything from your shopping to vacations to ensure you get more for your money.

Stop those Impulse Buys
Unless money is no option then you can no longer afford to splash the cash as and when you like on impulse buys. Instead, you should shop round to make sure you get a good deal or wait for the price of particular items to drop over time.