Frugal Family

Managing Your Family’s Money By Planning Ahead

Maintaining stable finances, when you have to look after a whole family, takes a lot of work. A decent salary might help you to cover your costs in the present day, but you have to look ahead. You have to think about your retirement and the money you’ll need in your savings and your pension for that day. You also have to think about your children. Will they need financial help in the future if they plan on going to university? Obviously, you can’t accurately predict everything that will happen over the coming years, but it helps to have a plan of action for multiple scenarios. So, here are some helpful pieces of advice that should help you to manage your family’s money by planning ahead.

Get your household costs in order.

The first way in which you should plan ahead is by getting your household costs in order. Regular bills might not be too costly on an individual basis, but those small costs quickly add up. You have to pay attention to recurring expenditures if you want to manage your family’s money more effectively. Given that these are expenses which you can foresee, you can take action to reduce these costs and save yourself a lot of money in the long run. You don’t have to cut corners to make that happen, either. Take your energy bill, for example. By naturally insulating your home, you could turn down your heating and save a lot of money on a monthly basis. You could achieve this with thicker windows, loft insulation (as discussed at energysavingtrust.org.uk), draft excluders on your doors, and rugs.

You might also want to reduce shopping expenses. Take your weekly trip to the supermarket, for instance. What if you started growing fruit and vegetables at home? This garden project could give you some tasty natural food to enjoy throughout the year and save you a little bit of money every week. Of course, you could go one step further and save money on all types of shopping by searching Google for discount codes and vouchers before buying things. You might want to check out netvouchercodes.co.uk for some great offers. You could buy the same products and services as usual but simply spend less money. The internet is a great resource when you’re trying to get your household costs in order; it can reveal deals that you might have missed if you’d jumped straight into a purchase.

Make some money in your spare time

You might also want to make some money in your spare time to create another source of income. This is a great way to plan ahead because you’ll be increasing your family’s wealth for the future. Your main salary might cover everyday costs, but your additional earnings could go towards your savings for the future. And there are plenty of ways to make some money in your spare time. You could even take an entrepreneurial approach, as we’ve suggested before, and see this as your opportunity to essentially start a small business. You don’t have to quit your job; you could simply start freelancing at the weekends. You just need to find a product or service to sell. You could put your old belongings on eBay to try and make a profit. You might even want to buy old items, spruce them up, and sell them for a profit. There’s a lot of money to be made from upcycling if you have the time to make old things look shiny and new again.

Of course, you could also freelance by offering a particular service. Perhaps you’re a wordsmith; you could start selling marketing copy. Or perhaps you’re very artistic; you could start designing logos and other forms of branding for companies. Fiverr is a freelancing site that helps to match self-employed sellers with interested buyers. You might want to check it out because you could make a decent income from that platform. Fiverr takes a commission, but it’s worth it for the free marketing it does to potential customers on the website. It beats having to create your own website and market your services for yourself, but you can always do that later on if you decide that you want to invest a little more time and money into your freelancing ventures.

Invest in different areas

Doing more work in your spare time might not appeal to you, however. You might want to supplement your income in other ways. Investments offer great opportunities to increase your wealth. Of course, the amount of time that you dedicate to making money in this way depends on the investment route that you pursue. If you do research on the stock market, there are some forms of software out there that can automatically help you to manage your portfolio. You might want to check out this investopedia.com article if that’s a style of investment which would appeal to you. Trading on the stock market can be a great way to make money.

But you might want to consider the real estate market if you’re a new investor who’s looking for a straightforward investment route. Buying and selling properties or buying and leasing properties could give you a sizeable ROI. The former is preferable if you’re trying to turn over a quick profit and move onto the next property, but the latter is preferable if you’d rather bring in a new source of income. Owning properties that you rent out to tenants will give you a monthly income. Obviously, you have to put in more work when you essentially become a landlord as well as a property developer, so that’s worth considering. As with any investment, research is the key to success. You need to carefully assess potential investments to ensure that you’ll be spending your money wisely.

Save up for the future

Saving up for the future is worth doing if you want to manage your family’s money effectively. It’s a very straightforward way to plan ahead; you just need to start setting aside a small portion of your income on a regular basis. You might want to set up an automatic standing order. Every payday, you could transfer a fixed amount of money from your checking account to your savings account. That way, you’d be able to save money before you had the chance to spend it. It’s a smart way to protect your family’s finances in the long run – the idea is to pay yourself first.

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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