When you need to budget, perhaps because you want to make it easier to make ends meet, save some money or pay off some loans, then it is important that you get the whole household on board. This is because you will all have an impact on the money that is spent and you need to make sure that everyone is careful and understands why it is important.
Explain to them what is happening
It is wise to be honest with them and explain exactly what is happening. Make sure that they are aware of the fact that you need to budget and why. If you have young children it is important to explain it to them as well. This is because it may mean that they will not be able to have so many treats and perhaps you will not be able to go out so much or give them so many gifts. It can be difficult to do and to explain but it is worthwhile. It is likely that they will have times when they are adults when they will need to be careful with money and any quick loans they’ve take out and therefore they can learn from this experience. It is so important to explain to them that they are still loved and that buying them less things is in no way an indication of that but that you need to prioritise spending so that you can have a better future.
Decide together on what cuts to make
It can be a good idea to talk together about your plans on how you are going to cut your budget. It is important that you agree so that you are all happy about where the cuts will come from. There could be a whole variety of areas where you can cut down your spending and some may have more of an effect than others. You will need to think about how big a difference they will make to your lifestyle, how easy they will be to stick to and how much extra money they will actually raise.
You might be able to change where you buy things form and save money but still buy the same amount of items. However, you might find that you will need to also cut down on the amount of things that you buy as well. Having a good understanding of your income and essentials will be useful here as you will then know how much money you have left to spend on more fun things and you will be able to allocate it.
Work out how you can work together to stick to it
It can be helpful to work out how you can help each other to stick to the budget. It can also be important to make sure that you all keep remembering what the goal is. Why are you budgeting and therefore why are you having to go without things. If you keep that in mind it should be easier to stick to as you will keep remembering the purpose and why it is so important.
Identify motivators to help
It could also be good to all think of some ideas which might help you to not overspend. These could include all sorts of things but a possible list is:
- Not going into shops where you are tempted to buy things
- Sticking to a list when shopping in a supermarket
- Making do with things you have rather than buying new ones
- Comparing prices on everything you do buy
- Finding alternatives to days out
- Keeping gift lists small when it is a birthday of Christmas
- Children not to pester for pocket money or treats
Each family would have their own way of doing things. There are many different ways that families could cut their spending, different ways for them to keep motivated and different ways to stick to the budget. However, working together is the best thing to make sure that everyone is on board with the ideas. Everyone will know what they have to do and how they can help and this can encourage the others to stay on board if one is particularly determined. Supporting each other when there is temptation is really important as well.
If you work together as a family it can help to keep you all together. If only one of you is trying then it may mean that the rest of the family feel like they are being picked on and that they are being deprived. To choose together where to cut down and to support each other means that you all understand the goals and reasons for them and that you will not feel like one of you is being treated less fairly than the rest, especially if you all agree on the cuts to be made together.