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We all have times when we feel the things that hit us the most are those things we never planned for especially in the financial department of our daily lives. Financial strains like debt, low-income streams and unexpected costs are bound to be part of life for everyone! As a mom, especially if you are a single mom, you need to make sure you have a good budget plan in place to help you save money and prepare for these unexpected events. It is not hard to learn the right balance between the income you generate and the expenses you incur each month if you follow these 7 practical tips to help you prepare a good budget plan and stick to it!
Set financial goals
Before drawing up a budget knowing and writing out your financial goal(s) is paramount. When you have a financial goal you are aiming to attain you tend to be more focused towards achieving your set goal. Without a set goal you would only drift all over the place without a target to focus on. As a family, having a set goal keeps up your level of commitment since you are all geared towards the attainment of that goal and you collectively stick to the budget. You could write down the set goal and stick it in a prominent place to constantly be reminded of it which makes you much more likely to be successful in achieving it.
Draw up a financial schedule
Drawing up a schedule which you are able to follow through on in a budget plan is one of the hardest parts in budgeting. Budgeting, for most people, is a very tedious activity because they find summing up and allocation of finances to different categories nearly impossible. Setting aside a particular day when you and your family are able to jointly take a look at and work on your family budget is of great benefit in tackling this challenge and decisions can be made as the budget dictates.
Having a budget in place is not something you can ignore as a mom. If you find yourself having challenges with being consistent in following through on your budget, I strongly advise you to follow the tip of having a scheduled day for this very important activity.
Prepare a realistic budget
It does not matter if it suits you or not there will come a time when you have to eventually write down your daily expenditures and draw up a budget. Make sure the budget is realistic while considering your financial income and prioritize what should and what should not be included. Even more difficult is allocating the money to each and every aspect you have listed in your budget but with constant practice and a little help from your husband or friends, you should get the hang of it after a while. If you still find it very difficult to handle, there are a lot of budget planning software available on the internet you can easily download and install on your computer or phone to aid your budgeting process.
Have a plan for unexpected expenses
If you have been budgeting over a period of time, your experiences should tell you that there is no such thing as a “perfect” month in the sense that all your expenses for a month are adequately covered. This is because in creating a budget that is realistic you have to put in place plans to cover for expenses that might unexpectedly come up. It is often a frustrating period during your learning curve in budgeting because you sometimes incur expenses not included in your budget plan. To overcome this challenge, listing out the items that fall into this category more often is a good way to start. Things like car servicing, entertainment, birthday parties, items to be bought for the kids etc. are some of them. Sometimes you can also take help of nation21loans to borrow some money if you are sure to pay it back in next month’s salary. Taking a loan when you are really need it can help.
Have a month of no expenses
There comes a time when despite sticking to your strict budget plans you feel you are not saving enough money. At this tim you need to take extreme measures to achieve your budgetary goals. Take the extreme budgeting measure of having a month where you do not spend a dime on anything other than what is necessary. Necessities like groceries, gas, medical upkeep and so on are what I consider necessary but try as much as possible to cut down on how much you spend on them during your no-expense month. Setting a month aside for no added expenses is an effective way of saving money while working on a shoestring budget.
Have an extra means of income
Despite running on a budget plan there will be instances when you find out that you are not saving as much as you thought you would. When preparing your budget being open to the idea of generating extra income while you are saving is an important factor to take into consideration. There are a lot of side activities you can engage in as a mom even while at home such as web blogging, online social marketing gigs and even selling your used items that bring in extra financial income.
Prepare the budget together
As a married couple this is very important. The money generated by both of you from your jobs or activities becomes “our” money and not “his” or “your” money anymore. Having the same financial principles about how money should be spent is a basic step for sustaining both your marriage and your household. Working on the budget together also helps you to be accountable to your partner to see how far the budget plan is progressing and to understand areas you could work upon to make the budget more effectively.