For most households, working out a monthly budget and keeping the expenses down is a thankless process. Housing expenses have gone up dramatically over the years and often take up 35 to 40% of your income. Money spent on groceries, restaurant or fast-food meals and home repairs and insurance take another big bite from what you earn.
When you have a family with two people working, you’ll find that second paycheck shrinks considerably when you deduct the high cost of child care and after school activities. By the time you deduct tax withholding and all your expenses, it seems that after endless hours of work you are only left with spare change.
With economic uncertainty that’s a really precarious position to be in. You have to take some key steps to improve your monthly financial situation.
Always Look for the Best Loan Rate
When you take the time to analyze your monthly payments the typical household will find they pay off a lot of debts each month.
Your mortgage, credit cards, car loans, and the like all require payments that are barely paying any of the principal at all. Most of the payment goes toward the incredibly high-interest charges.
Once you do a detailed review of these debts you should look for loan refinancing options and zero-interest credit card offers that let you reduce your monthly payments. If you are the parent of a child who is headed off to college, you’ll want to carefully evaluate the financial assistance offer from their university.
Since the financial award usually does not cover all the expenses, your child will need to take out private student loans to pay for the high cost of tuition.
You can help them qualify for the private loans and get a better rate if you are a cosigner on the loan for your college student.
Buy in Bulk and Shop the Supermarket Sales
Monthly grocery costs for a growing family can really drain your budget.
Fortunately, there are some key ways you can lower your expenses and still provide great meals for your clan.
If you join a warehouse club or order from a national provider of bulk food, you’ll instantly save a lot of money by buying in bulk. It’s also great if you split your purchases with another family so you can share the quantity and the costs. Weekly grocery chain ads are your next sources of big savings.
It pays to spend some time going through the flyers and identifying things that have great prices each week. By stocking up on these items you’ll save a lot of money. Buy one get one free offers and the like allow you to dramatically cut your food costs.
Go Camping on Your Next Vacation
With the pandemic affecting travel and the economy, it doesn’t seem like the time to take a vacation that will cost you thousands of dollars and require plane flights.
To save money and get a break from being cooped up at home, consider going camping on your next vacation. For a minimal one-time investment, you’ll be able to get all the camping gear you need.
With a tent, sleeping bags, a few air mattresses, and a camp stove and chairs, you’ll be on your way to enjoying time in the great outdoors. A week of beautiful living near a river or lake, in the mountains or along the ocean shore will have everyone feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.