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Banking Big: Budgeting Tips for Large Families

Got a large family? Well, although you may be in the minority in America these days… large families can be fun. Something is always happening, and there is usually something to celebrate. But larger families also mean larger expenditures. Budgeting is especially beneficial in a big group, and can help ensure your family is financially sound now and in the future. Here are some budgeting tips to help you stay within your means.

Make Your Budget Specific

The more you can break down your expenditures, the better you can track where your family actually spends money. Your monthly budget should cover the following areas: food, housing, clothes, transportation, insurance, healthcare, entertainment and all other miscellaneous bills. Obviously you can add as many subcategories as you want—the point is just to have your budget cover all the bases.

Look Back to Plan Ahead

Big FamiliesLooking at past expenses over a similar time period is a good way to gauge expected expenses. Always err on the side of caution. It is wise to give the different segments of your budget a buffer. If you have money left over you will find a way to use it, but once the money is spent there is no getting it back. Make sure you allow for differences in months like back to school supplies in August and Christmas shopping in November.

Getting Loans for Large Expenditures

Large expenditures are the quickest way to throw off a budget. If they are unexpected it only makes matters worse, for instance, what would you do if your car’s transmission blows and you need a new set of wheels?   It is not uncommon for families to be unclear how they should budget for this kind of expense. In many cases, getting a loan for a big expense is the only choice because loans can break a big expense into a bunch of bite-size pieces. Of course, like any other expenditure you should shop around not only for the best deal on the item but also for the best deal on the money to buy it as well. Credit Union loans are often some of the best deals available. Like any loan you should know exactly how much you will pay, and how often you will have to make payments and where you will be getting the extra money to pay off the loan.

Expected the Unexpected

The unexpected will happen at some point. This could be a big repair, health problem, family crisis, or work termination. When you create your budget, be sure to set money aside for a rainy day. Incorporate a savings reserve into your budget so your family is prepared when the unexpected arises.

Make Budgeting a Family Affair

Your budget affects your entire family. Why not involve your children when it is time to create the family budget? Not only will they learn how to set a budget and why it is important, they will also better understand why they cannot always get everything they want. Budgeting instills self-discipline and is a valuable life skill to have.

Budgets often evolve with time. Track your progress and refer to your budget often. Be sure to follow these ideas and account for big investments to create a successful budget for your large family.