Top 12 Budget Tips for Families

Top 12 Budget Tips for Families - With the start of the New Year, we have decided to check our budget (if you can call it that), so I thought I'd give my top budget tips to families. To be honest, the last two years we lived very frugally. If we want to eat outside, we eat outside. If I want new clothes, I buy them. When I look back at my expenses over the last few years, I am truly ashamed. I spent thousands and thousands of dollars without real awareness of where it all went.

This year, we are back to our roots of frugality and focus on saving money. Here's my top 12 budget tips for the families.

Decide What Is Important to You

If you have been reading this blog for a long time, you will know I like my Starbucks coffee. I have been like this for more than a decade... and I am not ashamed to admit it! Getting my $4 cup of coffee per day might be excessive for some people, but for me it's important, so we put it in the budget!

Now, not to say you can splurge every expense in your budget, but make a list of the things you like and decide what you want to sacrifice.

Stop the things that are not important

For us, this means cable TV, excessive clothing and shoes, eating out (we eat at Chick Fil A every Friday and keep putting it in the budget ... but every other food is eaten at home), manicures, trips to the hair salon , and others. I'd rather not get a manicure and instead get my Starbucks. It's all about priority.

Make a meal plan

I am not used to doing this and will spend money on food every month. It's too easy to go shopping when nothing in your kitchen "looks good" and you can't track it. Now, I write down all our food on Sundays and stick to it, even though I don't always want it. I also made sure we had easy things to do if we ran out of food (which did happen to five people).

Cheap things to make include: bacon and eggs / omelette, pancakes from scratch, sandwiches, PB & J on toast with fruit sides, spaghetti, frozen pizza, etc. None of these foods will win awards, but cheap eats never kill anyone!

Give Yourself

My wife and I each get $20 per week in pleasant money. I know that doesn't sound like much, but we make it work for now. My wife usually has lunch and maybe one or two coffees. This is my Starbucks money and maybe soda.

Use cash

We haven't used anything other than credit cards for the past two years and while we don't owe, we are confident because we spend more than a ton instead of using cash. It's too easy to be impulsive with a credit card, even if you are financially proficient enough. I challenge you to try the cash method.

We take our weekly cash for food and household items on Sundays. This includes our allowances and money that children may need. After lost, lost.

Include Your Children in Your Budget Conversation

When talking about budget tips for families, you must include your children. My daughters (ages 7, 6 and 3) understand that we have a limited budget and love to be involved. Last week, we got an extra $20, so we decided to go to Trader Joe's to get some delicious treats for a movie night! It was fantastic involving the girls in this matter and they realized that by avoiding unnecessary purchases for a week, we could "splurge" as a family for a fun night! I also really hope that this habit persists as they get older. What better way to teach your children about budgets than putting them in the family budget ?!


I love using the prize program to get my money back when I shop! My favorite is Ibotta. All you do is scan the receipt from your favorite store (Target, grocery store, Walmart, etc.) and get money back! I usually get $5- $10 per weekly shopping trip. Then, just transfer to your bank account.

Find A "WHY" for Budgeting

What drove us to start the cash budget system were two things: First, we both knew that even though we didn't owe money, we were clearly unaware of our expenses. We feel out of control in this area and need to set things up. And secondly, we debate a lot of moves and know that if we do that, we should really start saving money. While we are still on the fence about moving, we are VERY PLEASED to finally feel like we have our finances under control.

What why? "You could want to save more than before. Try putting more money into your retirement account. Or plan to send your children to the best private school. Or just relieve financial stress. Discover your" Why "and remind yourself of things it's every time every day!

Use the 24 HOUR Rule

You want to buy something both in a shop or online. If this is not a requirement, wait 24 hours before buying. If you still want it (and that fits your budget parameters) after waiting, then buy it without guilt! I will be honest - I do this often and every time I finally pass an item.

Get rid of temptations

I recently had to stop following people on Instagram because I was too tempted to want to buy whatever they were promoting. Ladies, I promise: The clothes you have are fine !! It's okay to wear the same jeans or leggings several times per week. I challenge you to stop buying clothes for at least a month. I promise you will realize that you missed ... nothing.

Set Some Odds that Are Impossible

I would really like it if we could live on rental income and dividends, for example. To do this, we need enough cash to be able to buy rental property and stock dividend payments. If we achieve this "impossible" goal, our lives will be very different. Can you imagine not "having to" work ??! When are you in your 30s and 40s ?? Ah - that dream!

Setting big goals can help you stay motivated!

GET More Money

Some people really don't have an expenditure problem, but an income problem. If this is you, I really encourage you to take your side busy so that you can pay off debt, save, and honestly change your life.

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