Family budgeting tools

According to The Washington Post, an analysis of households in the ten biggest economies has shown that families have been pulling billions out of stocks, cutting borrowing, and have been spending cautiously in response to the latest global financial crisis that began roughly five years ago. You might be wondering, how do you save money when you have a family to take care of? Here are three budget tips for families that you can keep in mind.

1. Household Budgeting Tips

As we age, there are more and more unnecessary expenses that we start to write off as “normal.” These minor expenses, over the course of the year, can really take a bite out of your potential savings. By now, most people have heard the statistic that over 50% of employed Americans spend an average of $1092 a year on coffee, a cost that could be cut by home brewing. Less examined are the costs of snacking, lunching, alcohol, et cetera. Keep meticulous track of all your expenses for two weeks, even the small ones. You will probably be surprised to find that there are some items you can easily give up and save $10 a week by doing so.

2. Family Budget Software

Part of adequate planning is understanding your future needs. Did you know that, in the U.S., the cost of raising a child is approximately $4,000 a year, as estimated by the Department of Health and Human Services? Family budget software can help you realize the funding you’ll need for various events, emergencies, and repairs, creating virtual “envelopes” for future need. You can either buy software or find it online for your computer or phone. Mint.com is a very popular online banking software, especially because it is free.

3. Smart Ways to Save Money Every Week

One of the biggest expenses families have is food. Right now, the average weekly grocery bill for a family of four is around $240. Could this be lower? Certainly. First of all, cut out brand names and focus on store offerings. In most cases, quality is the same. Taking a couple minutes to cut up lettuce can save you dollars every time you shop, so avoid the overly prepared offerings that don’t really save you much time. Look up low cost healthy recipes, and check out your local farmer’s market. A farmer’s market will often have many options for fresh produce at cheaper prices than the supermarket.

How do you save money?