Christmas is fast approaching and for most American families it is time to look over your family budget to set aside some money for that joyous occasion. Formulating a family budget will help you determine where your money is coming from and how much you have to spend on necessities like housing, food, utilities, health care and insurance. Below are just a few family budgeting tips to help you stay in the green and have money for Christmas.
1. Get the whole family involved
A family budget means that every family member should participate. Your older children should also be a part of this process. At the beginning of the month, talk to your kids about your income and where it is going. This will teach them the importance and value of money so they can make wise choices when they have their own money to spend.
2. Cut back on unnecessary expensive activities
Rent a Blue Ray disk instead of attending the movies. There are also several different inexpensive online streaming services such as Amazon Prime, Hulu and Netflix. Keep your holiday travel plans close to home. Staying nearby for Thanksgiving and Christmas will save you a lot of money on airfare and hotel expenses. Keep your family activities close to home.
3. Shop for groceries wisely
Make sure you eat a meal before you go to the grocery store. If you grocery shop on an empty stomach you may make impulse purchases that you will regret later. Plan out your meals a head of time. Creating a meal plan will prevent you from buying things that you don’t really need. Purchase store brand products. Store brand merchandise is just as nice as the name brand items. They are a lot less expensive because you are not paying for a label.
4. Pay off your credit cards every month
If you regularly use a credit card make sure you are only charging what you can afford. When the bill comes due pay it in full. This will help you avoid fees and penalties from your bank.
5. Clip and use coupons
Coupons can save a ton of money in the long run as long as you use them regularly. If you add up those small 5 or 10 percent discounts that you get from using coupons you will be surprised at how much you have saved over a year.
6. Drink water
Not only is water the healthiest beverage for you it is free. If you are concerned about the water quality coming out of your tap you can get a simple filter system to attach to your faucet or a pitcher with a filtration system.
If you follow these simple tips you will have less stress and frustration about money as Christmas approaches.
How do you plan out your Christmas budget?
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