Do you find that your family is having a hard time sticking to a budget?
Budgeting for a whole family can be tough, especially when every family member has different wants and needs. Perhaps this is why the average household debt in America is $137,063.
Luckily, creating a family budget is easier than you think. Check out this guide to discover the top family budget tips to follow when trying to save money.
1. Plan Your Meals
Food is one of the biggest expenses for families. A quick trip through the McDonald’s drive-thru or a lavish splurge at a local restaurant is all too tempting for busy families.
In fact, the average American household spends between $316 and $514 per month on groceries. This average doesn’t even include takeout orders, dining out, or other food-related purchases.
The best way to cut down on your grocery and food bill is to plan your meals ahead of time. Before you go to the grocery store, write down every ingredient you need to create these meals and stick to that list. It’s also smart to choose a day to prep your meals so you’re not tempted to pick up fast food when you’re crunched for time or just don’t want to cook.
2. Plan Budget Getaways
Did you know that the average American spends $1145 on vacation expenses? If you have a family of four, this amounts to $4,580 per year.
We definitely don’t recommend giving up your vacations, as vacationing can give you a chance to decompress and create family memories. But, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a lavish Disney vacation to make the experience memorable for you and your family.
Instead, you can plan a budget getaway that will allow you to save money and have fun. Here are some tips for planning a budget vacation:
- Travel to places you can reach by car
- Use travel sites like Expedia or Orbitz to bundle your accommodation and transportation so you can save big
- Rent a vacation home with another close family or extended relatives
- Choose budget-friendly activities like free museum visits, city strolling, or matinee shows
- Pack your own food so you don’t have to eat out for every meal
We also suggest creating a separate savings account for holidays so you’re not tempted to put everything on your credit card and go further into debt. It’s a good idea to create a pay stub to verify your monthly income so you know just how much money you need to set aside for vacation.
3. Plan for Frugal Birthdays and Holidays
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to create memorable family holidays and birthdays. Here are some ways you can save money around the holidays:
- Plan for budget-friendly activities like movie marathons, baking, or picnics in the park
- Make your own decorations and gifts instead of buying them
- Buy decorations and gifts when they’re out of season
- Limit the number of presents you give each child
It’s also a good idea to avoid traveling around the holidays, as accommodation and flight prices are usually highest during this time.
Family Budget Tips: Time to Create Your Budget!
Now that you know these family budget tips, it’s time to put them to use. With these tips, you’ll be able to save your family a ton of money while still having fun and creating memories.
Be sure to check back in with our blog for more budgeting tips and tricks.