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Top 3 Budgeting Tips for Struggling Families

By: Brittany Engelmann-- 2016-07-20 6:30 pm --

It’s harder than ever to start a family. The cost of living is rising across the nation, and yet the average wages aren’t increasing in conjunction. This may be why the millennial generation is waiting longer to start families than the generations preceding them. While there is little you can do about the economy or your immediate financial situation, there are a variety of budgeting tactics that will make it much easier to live comfortably on your current annual income.

  1. Minimize waste. We live in a notoriously wasteful culture, so much so that people waste things without even acknowledging it. Children are particularly wasteful, as they’ve yet to understand the value of money. There are a variety of ways your family can reduce household waste and save money over the months. Dish up smaller portions of food at mealtimes, and only provide seconds once children have cleaned their plate. Put name labels on all of your child’s school supplies, toys, and clothing, in case anything gets lost at school or sleepovers. Use reusable containers for lunches rather than paper or plastic bags. If you make a list of all the ways you accumulate waste in your home, you’ll be surprised to find all the easy ways you can start saving money immediately.
  2. Buy in bulk. According to The Atlantic, a study has found that low-income people are less likely to buy in bulk, despite needing the discounts more. It can be challenging for low-income families to buy in bulk, since the upfront cost is higher. However, even buying just one of your household necessities in bulk each month can help you save a tremendous amount of money throughout the year. Bulk purchases are ideal for frequently used products like toilet paper, canned food, school and office supplies, and household cleaning supplies.
  3. Be sure to create a savings account. Especially for families with children, there will always be unforeseen expenses. If your child catches a cold, gets injured playing sports, or suddenly has a cavity, you need to cover these expenses immediately. If your car breaks down or your roof springs a leak, you’ll need an emergency fund to fall back on. Too often, when people don’t have an emergency savings, they resort to their credit cards to cover the costs. But this is dangerous, as you’ll be paying high interest rates, which will only add to your financial burden. Instead, create a savings plan that enables you to gradually build upon it over the months, so you always have a financial safety net in place. If needed, start small by contributing just 1 to 5 percent of your income each month.

Starting a family is one of the most rewarding experiences, and it’s a goal that the vast majority of people have. Yet, the average child costs $245,340 to raise from the time of their birth to the age of 18. Even for middle and high-income families, this is a lot of money that can put a strain on their budgets. By creating an emergency savings, eliminating household waste, and buying all of your supplies in bulk, you can slash your spending considerably, while providing your children with everything they need. Visit our website today to browse some of the best brands at the lowest wholesale prices.