Six Expert Tips for Better Managing Your Family Finances

Managing finances for your can seem like a daunting task. It is so easy to overspend and so difficult to get back on track after that happens. Thankfully, there are simple steps you can take to help you successfully manage your families finances so that you can be debt (and stress) free. Here are some of our expert tips:

1. Determine your current monthly spending.

One of the most important aspects of managing finances is seeing where your money is going. Although you may think you have a pretty good idea of where your spending is, you may be surprised to learn how much you spend in certain areas.

Many sites and software can help categorize your spending for you; try out Mint, Wally, or Unsplurge. This will help you see where your money is going regarding food, utilities, toys, etc.

2. Find unnecessary costs that can be cut.

Once you see where your money is going each month, it will probably be very clear if you are spending wisely or not. If you find yourself spending hundreds a month at restaurants, you may decide to cut down a bit. Or perhaps your cell phone bill is always getting overage fees and you realize you need to change your plan.

Find areas where your spending is not quite right and fix it. This could easily save you hundreds a month.

3. Develop a monthly budget.

Rather than spending money on whatever your heart desires, determine a monthly budget. This will allow your family to spend money on some luxury items without going overboard. Then, either use cash or assign a specific credit card to your “fun” spending so that you stay within your budget each month.

4. Closely monitor your spending.

Once you get a hold of your finances and develop a budget, monitor your spending each month. It is easy to get off track and staying on top of spending will keep you from getting into debt or overspending.

Again, some websites can help you do this easily so that you do not have to spend hours on your finances each month. In fact, you can even set up notifications so you can get a text message if you are starting to spend over your monthly budget.

5. Tackle highest interest debt first.

If you are paying off debt, it can be tempting to pay off credit cards with the lowest balance first. However, you will pay off your debt faster if you focus on the card with the highest interest rate, regardless of its balance. This will help you pay less interest and get out of debt faster.

6. Only buy what you can afford and save up for big purchases.

Credit cards make it easy to buy things we want, even if we do not have the money. If you are hoping to do a re-model on your home, buy a boat, or go on a vacation, save up first. This will cost you less in the long run because you will avoid interest charges.

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