Running the family budget can be a headache. It is not as simple as knowing how much your regular bills add up to and being sure that there is enough money available to cover those. If it was, doing your family budget would take just a few minutes. It is the so-called little things, the day-to-day extras and paying for emergencies that catch you out. Controlling how much you spend on items like that is not easy. But, there are things you can do to make managing this type of expense easier.
Keeping the cost of getting the kids ready to go back to school under control
Having just sent my kids back to school after the summer holidays, I can vouch for the fact that this is an expensive time for families. But, I found a great article which contains fantastic advice that will help you to keep that cost under control. The advice will work whether you are sending them back after term or summer holidays. You can read it here.
Keeping a handle on pocket money
Giving your kids pocket money is a really good way to teach them about money. But, you need to keep things under control. It is all too easy to be more generous than you can really afford to be. So, when deciding how much to give your children make sure the amount you promise them is realistic.
If you have younger kids, bear in mind that when they are older you will be paying them pocket money too. Most parents like to treat their kids the same as much as possible. So, if you promise your eldest £10 a week and have 2 smaller kids you are actually committing to paying out £30 a week x 3, or £120 a month, at some point in the future.
Understand the full cost of clubs and hobbies
Of course, you want your children to have the chance to join clubs and enjoy hobbies. But, it is all too easy for the costs of various club memberships, uniforms, equipment and materials to mount up. So, before signing your kids up long-term be sure to understand whether you can cover the costs involved. If it is too high, look into kitting them out with good quality 2nd hand equipment etc. At least initially, that way if it turns out that after a month or two they are not really that keen you can sell it on and not have spent a huge amount of money on a flash in the pan.
There are lots of ways to save on the cost of your kid’s hobbies and interests. This article contains some particularly good tips to help you to do this.
Teach your children how to spend wisely
A 2018 study that was published by a team from Purdue University shows that lifelong spending habits are usually set by the age of about 7. So, you need to teach your children about money from an early age. You should not share your money woes with them. But, if you get them to appreciate the value of money and the fact that it has to be spent wisely when they are young things will be easier for them as adults. It will also mean that they are far more likely to understand why you sometimes have to say no to their requests for stuff.