Savvy Savings – 4 Essential Tips to Help Families Save in Tight Times

Unfortunately, we’ve probably all had that horrible moment when we’ve looked at our finances and discovered that what’s coming in doesn’t cover what’s going out. That sinking feeling isn’t nice, but if we turn it into a stepping stone for a more stable game plan, it doesn’t have to lead to a freakout. Financial stability is something we all strive for and while it’s not as easily achievable for some than it is for others, it’s entirely possible to create a sound future on almost any income as long as you’re smart and disciplined with your money.

No more debt.

It’s tempting to reach for your credit card when you want or need something you can’t afford. This may provide a quick fix but your little plastic friend can send you into a spiral of debt if you’re not careful. Aim to live on as little borrowed money as possible and start your new journey towards financial security by consolidating and paying off any outstanding debts. Taking out one of the readily available small loans present in today’s market can help.

Set a budget.

Yes, the term budget is often considered a dirty word but you’re going to need one if you want to start building a nest egg for your family. Step one is working out what currently comes and goes from your household. Now that you understand your income, deduct all necessary fixed expenses and allocate the leftover funds until you’ve covered everything else you need. Save half of what’s left and use the remainder as flexible or “fun” money. This helps you feel less restricted and makes it easier to stick to your budget.

Be prepared.

Now that you’ve worked out how much you have to spend on groceries this pay cycle, work out a meal plan. Not only will this reduce spoilage, but it will also make cooking dinner on a work night far easier. Bonus points here if you get the whole family involved so everyone has a say and ensures everyone has something they wanted to eat at least once a week.

Cut them off.

Back when you were making your budget, you probably identified some unnecessary expenses. While luxuries such as premium television subscriptions, eating out and shopping just for the sake of it might be fun, they can place significant stress on your finances. If you can’t fit these into your play money allocation, it might time for them to go. You can revisit once your debt is paid off and there’s some savings in the bank, but for now, you’re better off without them. Try to find cheaper or free alternatives if you want to keep these extras as part of your lifestyle but if you simply can’t make it work, remember that no-one can do everything and that going without now will lead to a brighter future.

Saving is tough and very few people find themselves in a position where it’s an easy thing to do. Make sure you focus on why you’re making changes to your lifestyle and what you’re going to achieve rather than what you’re missing out on and don’t worry if you fall off the wagon. Jump back on, make the most of what you have and check in regularly to make sure everything is going to plan. One day you’ll be able to look back and thank your present self for doing it and that’s the best reward of all.