This is a sponsored guest post.
Living paycheck to paycheck can be scary at times — especially if you have a month-to-month outlook on life. Long-term family planning may seem impossible, but starting this process early can be a huge benefit for the entire family.
Make Planning a Family Affair
Budgeting is extremely important — so why shouldn’t everyone be involved? Start the beginning of each month with a sit-down with your family to discuss the budget. What is the major expenditure for the month? What surprises might come up? Holidays? It may seem extreme but it is helpful to plan out every paycheck. Make it fun by budgeting what food you’re going to buy every week and planning meals as a family. Speaking frankly with your family can include everyone in the process and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Plan for Big Sacrifices
Image via Flickr by kentegarding
While daily budgeting is important, you also have to start thinking of long-term plans and possibly sacrifices. If coming up short on your bills continues to happen, you may need to think about increasing your income in a more permanent way. A career change or continuing in education can mean huge sacrifices for the family — but with potentially huge benefits. Taking out a private student loan can make a career change seem more feasible. And while these options may seem dramatic, they will certainly have the biggest payoff in the long run.
If you decide that a job change is necessary, or if you already have loans, refinancing may be the next step in making money management easier. Refinancing your student loans may lead to a consolidation that is best for you and your family. Streamlining loans can make the whole process less of a hassle and lower your monthly payment.
You may be losing money from an unexpected source — your home. “Going green” in your own home means more than using the AC less often. There are tons of ways to save money by making your home more environmentally sustainable like insulating your hot water heater, installing outdoor solar lights, or even making your own cleaning solutions. Some environmentally friendly solutions may sound pricey — and they can be — but they will save money over time.
This doesn’t just mean extreme budgeting, which is an option, but also getting creative in all aspects of money saving and earning. Sometimes setting up a second bank account can “trick” you into saving more money. Ask for help in places you’ve never thought to look. Our social media networks are expanding every day and you might be surprised by the connections you’ve made along the way. Has a friend of a friend just started their own online business? Ask them for advice. You might be pleasantly surprised how much people want to help those who need it.
Saving money for you and your family is possible if you start incorporating some of these tips into your everyday life.