*Post in collaboration with Jessica Foreman
If you have a young family, chances are you’re now earning less as a household than you once were. But don’t panic; it’s simply time to look at how you manage your money and plan ahead for the future. Below are some simple ways to help you:
Set a family budget
Sit down together and make a list of all your income and outgoings. Consider the little ones and what costs they are likely to incur over the next year from everyday essentials and birthday gifts to childcare. Revisit the budget every so often to check how you’re doing. Today’s Parent has a great guide to creating a family budget.
Have a spreadsheet
If you don’t have a system in place, you won’t stick to your budget. Get into the habit of updating a spreadsheet a couple of times a week to keep track of all your spending. Include all your personal and joint accounts, and log any mortgage and loan payments like those from Car Cash Point.
Think about where you could be cutting back. Is it those Saturday night takeaways? That gym membership you never use? Or that sports TV subscription that is a want rather than a need? Cut down on eating out, start shopping second hand and relook at your grocery shop to see where you can save money. See if you can knock anyone off the Christmas list this year too; it’s likely the person you buy for is also looking to do the same!
According to the Huffington Post, a recent poll revealed that 70 percent of couples argue about money more than household chores, togetherness, sex, snoring and what’s for dinner. It’s important to be open with each other when it comes to finance. Discuss the challenges you face and don’t keep secrets from one another. If you both have a clear understanding of issues and responsibilities ahead, you can tackle them as a team and avoid any arguments.
Set some rules
To keep you both on track, why not set some rules? For example, you could agree not to buy anything over a set limit without discussing it first. If you both like to socialise, limit yourselves to one night a month and set a rule to save at least something each month, even in the tougher periods. You could also save money by using discount codes (check out Dealsdaddy here) on every day products. There’s deals to be had so why not take advantage.
Set financial goals
Whether it’s to save for a holiday, move to a bigger home or put money into a pension plan, setting financial goals can really help with commitment to saving and managing your overall finances effectively. Sit down together and plan for everything that is important to you and your family in the near future.
Review your insurance policies
Insurance is extra important when a new baby comes along; you now have somebody else to care for! From protecting your loved ones to your home possessions, make sure you get the level and type of cover that’s right for everyone.