Thursday, March 24, 2011

Quick Budget Tips for Stay at Home Moms

One of the most important things for most stay at home moms is to keep her family on budget. Life's challenging enough as a one income family - you don't need things getting out of control with credit card debt or running out of money for monthly expenses before the end of the month. Keeping the family finances running smoothly is usually a job left to the stay at home mom.

These are a few tips to help you keep your budget in order. If you have any others, please share them in the comment area.

1. Plan ahead.

Know what you can afford to spend each month. You must have rent/mortgage payments budgeted, car payments, any credit card payments, untilities, food and so forth. Once the monthly necessities are taken care of, you can divide any extra into savings, entertainment and other optional areas.

Don't forget to consider needs that may not pop up every month, such as buying new clothes or paying for activities for the kids. How much you can spend on these areas depends on how much money your family can afford for them, but planning ahead will make it easier.

2. Know where you can save money.

Most stay at home moms quickly develop an eye for a bargain. Thrift stores are your friends. So are well chosen sales and coupons. You don't want to be buying things you wouldn't have bought otherwise, but a good sale or coupon may motivate you to stock up on things you wouldn't keep around otherwise.

3. Know what to sacrifice.

Being a stay at home mom usually means you're going to be a one income family. That's rough and usually means you need to make sacrifices, such as fewer family vacations and fewer trendy clothes. That's okay, as what your family gains should be well worth the sacrifice.

You can usually cut things such as cable television service with minimal pain. The kids won't like it at first, but get them used to going outside and playing (a much healthier habit) and they'll soon miss it less. So will you.

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