Family money management is an exercise that harried heads of household may find to be a tricky chore.
Not only are they challenged by the rigors of juggling a career with managing a household, the feat of letting the budget line up with its actual execution is one challenge that many a family may find hard to surmount, let alone perfect. But there are ways to succeed at it. We give you basic principles to achieve that.
Understand that the devil is in the details. Or that avalanches come from fist-sized snowballs. That millionaires are essentially penny-pinchers. Meaning, you have to be mindful of every single expense. While you may love your children to bits, this is no reason to keep giving in to every single whine for this pack of gummy bears or that toy gun (more like toy M-16) or one more Bratz doll. Understand that for every time you give in, those are hard-earned dollars you’re letting go down the drain – or the toymakers’/candy makers’ pockets. This also means that you have to mind each time you fork over your cash for fries, accessories for your phone, or a mobile service upgrade.
Understand that a successful execution of family money management never happens in the paper budget; it happens before those grocery store receipts get printed. On paper, your budget may look kosher, but when the receipts pour in, and the actual cash left in the bank gets checked, a different story may be told. Thus, make sure that you and your household will do your best in obeying your budget to the letter – or the cent.
There’s no such thing as being too young to be enlisted in helping with family money management. You think your 4-year-old won’t be able to help you with balancing the budget? Think again. Enlist your kids to help you with finding more affordable alternatives to the brands you consume. Train them to value money by letting them understand how much each item they ask you to buy costs. Talk to them in terms of how much a pack of Snickers cost, vs. how much you get paid by the hour. This way, they will know how much hard work goes into each candy bar they wolf down.
The biggest way to achieve perfect balance in family money management is in thinking things over before marriage. Talk to your spouse-to-be about the realities of childrearing and the costs of education. Better yet, as a single person, start education funds for your future children. Apart from your retirement and emergency funds, your future progeny’s stash of cash may be one of the most crucial investments you sink your earnings into. Here’s to perfecting the balance of family money management for you!
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