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We all like to go to the movies, host events, and take trips; that’s living the life right? However, more often than not, we find ourselves wondering ‘Where’s all my money?’. We all want to live a fun, fulfilling life without the stress of money looming above us, so how can we achieve this?
It starts with balance.
When working towards your goal to save now for future wants or needs; it’s important to prioritize your spending habits, and allocate budgets for those expenses. In this blog, we are going to visit the key components of a healthy financially balanced family unit, so that you too can live a secure lifestyle.
Prioritize your spending
When working towards your goals as a family, it’s important to prioritize your needs, and your spending without leaving yourself high and dry. Here are a few examples as to how you can accomplish creating a priority budget:
- Create a list of priorities (bills, mortgage, car payments, cell phone bills, etc)
- Make a determination of ESSENTIAL expenses
- Find ways that you are able to cut back on those expenses if at all possible
- Of your non-essential list, it’s time to decide what you spend your money frequently on. (eating out, weekend trips, daily coffee runs, etc;)
- Remove the non-essentials you don’t utilize often enough (subscriptions, etc;)
- Find ways to do what you enjoy for little to no cost
- Make room for spending in this budget, life happens, and when it does it is good to have extra finances already set aside in case you need to use them.
- Shift your focus to experiences over material or monetary items
It’s important to remember that this is an opportunity for bonding as a unit.
“But here’s the thing–no matter how many possessions you have, you never feel secure. As soon as you get one thing, there is always something else you “need”.”
― Karen Kingston
Be sure to keep this thought process in the back of your mind as you begin shifting your financial goals and spending habits. Chances are that you will find greater gratification in experiences, vs materialistic items. We want to create a financial balance between saving money, spending money, and enjoying life together.
Have fun, without spending a lot of cash
There are TONS of ways you can have fun as a family, and not spend an arm and a leg when doing so. Here are a few activities that you can do together on a family budget:
- Discount movie days
- Public library (they often host completely free events)
- Catch free movie screenings or live concerts
- Vouchers for meals (you can visit websites such as; restaurant.com, livingsocial, and Amazon Local to find great deals at restaurants in your demographic).
- Go out to lunch, not dinner (lunch at many restaurants is often less expensive than at dinner time).
- Go outside, create memories outdoors.
What’s your why?
It’s important in all this not to forget why you started in the first place. It’s easy to get caught up in the, “Oh, it’s only a pair of jeans”. The financial temptation is everywhere, and as enticing as it is to buy what you WANT, look for the gratification of being able to have everything you NEED, while maintaining your financial liberty.
Celebrate your milestones as a family
Last, but surely not least don’t forget to celebrate your successes as a family unit. You’ve all been working hard towards your savings goals, and reward yourselves with a small bit of luxury. Whether that’s taking a much needed day of rest, buying a $4 cup of coffee, or taking the kids to a fun local event. That’s the beauty of creating a budget. You are in control.
When you are able to come together as a family unit, you are able to continuously grow as one too. We begin to instill these practices in our everyday lives, so that our children will grow to be financially independent, responsible adults. Especially when it comes to life choices and money.