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A parents’ day begins for their children from the moment they get up each day. Before they can even think about their own needs, they must prepare their children for their day ahead: preparing for school, making lunches, driving to practices, helping with homework, getting ready for bed, and then finally sitting down and having a moment of time to themselves and think about things like the financial security of their family. Finding time to actually consider good financial tools and daily financial techniques to keep an organized structure to finances seems almost impossible as a parent. Consider some of these cost-saving tips that will help restructure your financial well-being into a daily routine:
Organize Your Finances
With so many people’s needs to keep track of in a family, finances can get out of hand quickly and easily. Keep a dedicated space in a personal office or anywhere in your home that only you and your spouse have a quiet space to put small to medium-sized fire-resistant filing boxes dedicated to daily receipts, monthly bills, and any other paper trail that may need to be referenced by you for the purpose of income taxes or keeping a financing ledger on a weekly basis.
1. Weekly Ledger: Taking the time each day or every two days to gather receipts and pay stubs to record them in a monthly ledger give a visual perspective of the entire picture of your financial situation. It can show you where you are overspending and how much money you are missing each month to cover all of your expenditures including what you need to cut out of the financial equation.
2. Budgeting Software: If keeping a manual ledger seems too time-consuming, you can opt to purchase software that will do it for you. You can do everything with budget software that you can input into a manual ledger and more. Create an actual household budget that organizes your finances into categories. You can even create on for each child so that they can be involved in understanding how to balance a budget. Many budget software systems even have an alert to tell you if there is any over-expenditure within your budget that you need to review. Then, you will find that you will begin to see supplemental income that can put toward your savings account.
3. Utilize Technology: According to Consumer Reports, gives consumers, like parents who are constantly on the go, a way to streamline their financial processes. With banking apps, parents can conveniently do banking just about anywhere. This means checking banking accounts, transferring money, and even using a budget software app to input any money that is spent right after you spend it. This alleviates having to take the time out of the end of any day to input a list of receipts or other financial information into financial software that can become a chore very quickly. This is the financial wave of the future and something that children will be utilizing as they grow into adults. So, financial apps are a great way to introduce your child to easily keeping track of what they spend and how to be financially responsible. Just be aware of cyber security measures within the app you choose that will keep your financial information safe.
Purge Additional Expenditures as a Family
Make it like game night and take an evening every couple of weeks to sit down with your children and go through the family finances. This means giving them a job to do as you discuss what was spent in those two weeks and how much of it was an unneeded expenditure that needs to me remedied for the following weeks. This is a very easy way of giving children a realistic view of money and how it affects their daily life. It will demystify how money is used for them, and show them that sometimes money can be spent be wastefully even if we want something enough. It is a great way to show the difference between a “want” and a “need.” Just be careful that these discussions don’t go too far and create anxiety in children about money. Make sure you explain that this is like a school project that is supposed to be educational and not a way of punishing them for spending money.
Open a Savings Account for Your Child
You might begin a savings account at your local bank immediately after your child is born, but when that child is old enough to contribute on their own, either through allowance or odd jobs they do for neighbors or family, let them know about their savings account and how it works. You can also explore savings accounts in your state that offer a way of saving money for college that will not be taxed that your child can then use for their education or several other options depending on the stipulations of the savings program.
At some point, as they graduate and begin to make their own decisions about saving money, they may choose other options to save that include Roth IRA, Money Markets, or other options through consulting with a financial analyst. Check out the options available at http://www.savingsaccounts.com
As your financial process is explored, you will begin to find sites that will give ideas on how to save money and begin to utilize them. As children grow and understand the idea of saving money more and more, introduce them to tools such as http://www.choosetosave.org/. This site will give them a perspective on saving money from birth through their retirement years that you will work with them now to understand, and they can learn to continue the process throughout their lives and take control of their future through proper financial techniques and tools.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who focuses on personal finance and other money matters. She currently writes for Checkworks.com, where you can get personal checks and business checks.