If you’re looking at your bank account and wondering where all your money went, you’re not alone. The holidays are hard on everyone’s wallets. But there are some smart choices you can make to get your family’s finances back on track. SolveYourProblem.com has a great list of budgeting ideas for families, including these tips:
Keep busy. It’s super easy to overspend when you have a little time on your hands. Unnecessary trips to Target and online spending sprees can be cut out if you fill your free time with volunteer activities, working out, or all of the other things you always say you’re way too busy to do. Come on, we all do that!
Do you really need it? We buy so much stuff that we don’t really need, but just because something’s on sale doesn’t make it a good investment or a necessity. Don’t worry, that half-off hand lotion will find a good home somewhere else.
Avoid expensive friends. If your bestie is a little too into fine dining, make specific plans to do something affordable (or free!) like going for a run or grabbing coffee.
Track your spending. How does your family know where all its money goes if no one’s keeping track? You don’t have to live the lifestyle of the rich and famous to have a money manager — even if it’s just you! There are countless apps and programs available to help you budget, like Mint.com, so choose one and make it a priority download.
Not everything can be miscellaneous. Make your budget categories as specific as possible — clothes, movies, trips, etc., need to be labeled properly so you know where your dough is going. Don’t let random expenditures get combo’ed into one big MISC group or you won’t be able to see the truth behind your spending habits.