Budgeting for an entire family is a delicate balancing act. Keeping tabs on all the expenses and managing the family budget can be difficult, but you can find ways to make tweaks here and there in order to make everything work out and still keep everyone happy. Here's what you can do:
1. Track your spending.
First, you need to know where your money is going in order to budget it. Road-test some free apps that can help you track your spending, or go old school and try a Japanese method of budgeting called "kakeibo," which means "household account book."
These housekeeping books have monthly, weekly, and yearly sheets you can fill up. Note down your income every month and subtract from it fixed expenses like house rent, electricity, and water bill.
Deduct the amount you want to save from what remained from your income—20% according to experts. The amount of money you get after savings is how much you can spend.
2. Analyze what you're spending on.
Look at every entry in your money log and determine which expenses are necessary and which are truly worthwhile in the long run.
Think about how to plan your errands and activities more efficiently. Have you been wasting gas or transportation fare by making repeated trips to the same area on separate days when you could have grouped your errands in one area all on the same day?
Must you really buy the latest pricey designer sneakers your child has been pining for or will saying no not only teach him that he can't really have everything he wants but also let you spend the money instead on something more important and meaningful?
Really think about ways to cut corners so you can parlay your funds towards more important and meaningful needs.
Ask yourself: What really matters to you as a family? Probably not material things, but rather ways to strengthen your bond with each other or create memories together, such as family vacations.
Traveling can do wonders for your kids. Though it can be expensive, traveling can become a learning investment for your kids. Studies show that traveling can help advance brain development in children and that happy memories made during family trips (also known as "happiness anchors") can also help your kids overcome tough times in the future.
3. Anticipate unexpected expenses.
It's wise to be prepared and have a buffer fund for emergencies. Having a practical and reliable payment scheme can ease your worries about how to pay for expenses during times when life throws you for a loop.
Citi lets you enjoy the things that truly matter to your family with Citi PayLite After Purchase. Single receipts worth at least P3,000 can be converted into a PayLite installment plan that can last up to 24 months. It lets you pay using flexible payment terms of three, six, 12, or 24 months.
Learn more about Citi PayLite After Purchase here.