Putting a home budget plan together can feel a bit crazy, but once it's done the hard part is sticking to your plan. It's easy to get caught up in daily life and get away from your monthly budget. Here's a few tips and tricks to help you and your family stick to your home budget plan and reach your financial goals.
1. Use Incentives
Put little incentives in place for you to stick to your new budget plan. If you enter all the new bills for one week, then you can get one of your favorite coffees. Find something creative that will stick in your mind so that you think about it every day. Have your spouse come up with something too.
2. Split the Workload
To avoid feeling burnt out or unappreciated, split the workload with your partner. Whoever brings in the mail, makes the entries that day. Whoever writes the check or pays the bill makes that entry. If you're usually the one who does all the finances, ask for help and let them help when you do.
3. Trim Expenses
If you crunch the numbers and find your expenses outweigh your income, you'll need to trim expenses. If your children are old enough to understand, ask them to be part of it. Gather everyone around the table and let them know that you'll need to trim some expenses to be smart about spending money. Brainstorm as a family about how you can do that and make sure everyone contributes something they can do. Offer to give up your coffee on the way to work every day for a thermos and home brewing. You children could promise to text less and call more so you can downsize your texting plan. Your spouse can carpool with a friend to save on gas.
4. Offer a Monthly Reward
Put a monthly reward in place to help you stick to your plan. This is especially important if you've made cut backs. Plan (and, budget in) something fun for your whole family. Cut backs usually involve the entire family, so it's nice to reward everyone for their commitment. If you all stick to the plan for the entire month, you'll pack a picnic and go to the lake. Family outings don't have to be expensive; brainstorm some great things to do together.
5. Look at It Every Day
To stay on track, you need to look at your home budget plan every day. Make this part of your morning ritual so you know where you stand. Make it a family thing. While breakfast is going on, take a look at your plan. Offer positive feedback to people who are sticking to it and gentle reminders to those who are having a tough time. Remind everyone of the incentives and monthly reward if you stay on track as a family.
A home budget plan is a great plan to work with, whether you're
trimming back or not. It's a tool to prevent debt and teach your family
about how important it is to avoid spending money they don't have.