Five ways to manage your family’s budget
Some people find it easier to manage a budget and account for every last cent than to put 10% of their income away in case of emergencies. But if you’re one of the 27% of Australian households with less than $1,000 in a savings accounts, you shouldn't stress about how to pay for any unexpected expenses.
There are steps you can take to make sure you’re not left stranded if your car breaks down or your fridge suddenly stops working.
Here are five steps to help you manage your family's finances.
1. Stay on top of your budget
The key to staying afloat and successfully negotiating life’s ups and downs is to be prepared. If you haven't already, create a budget. Make sure you know where your money’s coming from and where it’s going. Include everything – your mortgage repayments, bills, groceries, children’s school supplies, school fees and even your daily coffee. The more you know about your money, the better position you’ll be in to manage it.
2. Consider your options
When it comes to supporting your family financially, it can be stressful trying to.
You could try and make the most of your money with a savings account. There are some people, however, who would prefer to budget for ongoing repayments than let money sit ‘unused’.
3. Budget for repayments
Credit cards allow you to budget for your repayments. You know how much is due and how often you're required to make those repayments. While you'll be required to make minimum monthly repayments on a credit card, you can make more than the minimum repayments to help manage your interest.
4. Choose what works for you
It's important to choose an option that gives you the flexibility to manage your money most effectively. For some, that might mean taking out a lump sum payment so you have that cash on hand whenever you need it. For others, it might mean accessing a credit card to cover unexpected bills.
5. Watch your spending
The key with credit cards is to avoid using them to pay for regular outings. Keep them for emergencies. And, as you would with any other product, shop around to get a good deal on interest rates, fees and charges.
No matter which option you choose, it's important to discuss your circumstances with a financial adviser so you can find a solution that's suitable to your needs.