Anyone with children will be able to vouch that since having their little ones, purse strings inevitably have to tighten and you have to be a little more careful with your spending. Before children, things are generally pretty predictable: you have the same outgoings each month, and there aren’t regular alterations to this. You only have to cater to yourself, and if cash is running a little low, it’s relatively easy to go without until things pick up again. However, as soon as little ones come along, all routine can go out of the window. Things are broken more easily and need replacing. You have to buy more belongings for them, as they quickly outgrow both clothes and toys. Surprise school trips pop up, and growing interests in different areas will result in subscriptions and sign-ups to different activities and clubs. In short, you never really know how much you’re going to be paying out from one month to another. However, while you may not be able to predict the future, you can monitor your spending and make cuts in less essential areas to prevent you from slipping into the red. Accounting for everything going in and out of your accounts will become a vital part of staying afloat. So, here are a few different ways to keep on top of things!
Understanding Your Accounts
In order to have a good idea of what you have available to spend each month, you first have to have a thorough understanding of your accounts. You need to carefully track all of the payments in and out of your bank every month. This is where an official education in finances can come into play. Consider an mba for accounting. Not only will this help you to keep a track of your spending, but it can help you in other areas of your life too, for example, filling out your tax bill at the end of each financial year. Alternatively, you just need to be vigilant and exhibit a little common sense. Total up everything that you spend. From the biggest investment to the smallest and most seemingly insignificant purchase.
Once you know how much you have coming in and how much is going out on essentials, you will then be able to even out costs elsewhere with a budget. Sure, you may have to replace a broken window after a banned game of indoor football, but you can cut costs on other luxuries for the month rather than taking out a loan or dipping into your overdraft.
Not every major cost will take you by surprise. You just need to be a little more organised and aware. Inquire at the beginning of the school year as to what expenses you can expect to be brought home: bills for school trips, extracurricular costs, etc. You can then start saving in advance rather than being taken by surprise down the line.
As you are well aware, life with children is full of surprises. But you can account for most of them and manage for the ones that crop up in a particularly unexpected manner. Just follow the above advice and all will be well!