Finances and budgeting
Pressure on family finances often causes stress. While many families manage to live on a tight budget, others find it a real struggle, particularly when unexpected bills come in.
Careful money management helps many families avoid getting into debt. Budgeting services are very helpful in providing free advice and information for all families, including those having difficulties managing their money.
If money is tight, plan a weekly budget. Work out how much is needed for food, mortgage/rent, gas, electricity, phone, transport, medical services and a little bit of fun. Make it a goal to stick with it.
Explain to your children that you have a budget and not everything is possible. They may be able to help you plan for extra costs such as school trips.
- Don't be tempted to buy things you don't really need. Write a list before going to the supermarket and don't buy anything else. Set a limit for Christmas and birthday gifts.
- Put aside a little extra for unexpected expenses.
- Work out the true cost of things like buying a daily coffee. Can you really afford it?
- Open a bank account for each of your children. Encourage them to save a little on a regular basis.