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Best Budgeting Tips For Families: 10 Top Budgeting Tips For Families That Work

Updated on March 13, 2011

Budgeting Tips for Families

The beauty of families is that a family is a cohesive unit...or it should be.

Families stick together through thick and thin and in hard economic times, thin might be easier to come by and the need for budgeting more intense.

I've always liked the idea of everyone in the family pitching in and helping out....whether it's cooking a meal or cleaning out the garage.

So why shouldn't budgeting be the same way? No matter what age your children are, no matter what form your family unit takes on, budgeting is for everyone.

Also think about the teaching factor. Learning good budgeting habits from early on makes the chances of success at using money wisely later in life a real possibility.

Let's take a look at some of my favorite ideas on budgeting for families.

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Budget Tips for Families - Anyone Can Do It!

  • Do the dishes and use fewer dishes. Don't get a new glass for every new drink or new cup for every cup of coffee. Wait to have a full load in the dishwasher before running. Save up dishes before washing and don't waste water for washing 2 items.
  • Do laundry 1 or 2 times per week. Save up so that you have full loads and can separate them and do them at one time. Use cold water for wash and rinse unless absolutely necessary. Use the minimum amount of products in your wash loads and your clothes will last longer!

  • Turn off the lights and things not in use! Simple idea that has been around as long as time. If you're not using it, turn it off. Unplug things not in use and avoid the electricity vampire still sucks up your energy even though it's turned off!
  • Pack lunches. Don't eat out. It's cheaper in the long run to make food from scratch (see below) and take it to eat for lunch. Think of the nutritional value alone! People frown on saving money by cutting out lattes and Cokes but let's face really can. There's no shame in saving money AND being healthier.

Make food (and as much as you can) from scratch. In the long run, you'll be healthier for it and it does cost less money. Get everyone involved. It's amazing what a "cooperative way of cooking" will do for a family. I know from experience that the children who watch their parents cooking stick with it and become cooks themselves later in life! This is a great gift to give to your children and one that will help them always know how to care for themselves. It's also fun to try and figure out how to make everything from cleaning products to personal hygiene products from scratch and it saves money!

  • Recycle. Don't just put it out at the curb. Really recycle and take it t the recycling center and get the money back for bottles, plastic, paper and whatever else is being recycled in your neighborhood or community. Teach your kids about recycling and get them to pick up what they see someone else throwing on the ground. Teaching your kids to be green starts at home.
  • Refuse to buy it if it's not on sale! Novel concept but it will save you hundreds and thousands of dollars. Do you have to have it? Or can you find it on sale somewhere else? Or can you just wait because eventually almost everything in the world goes on sale sometime! Teach your kids the same concept and you'll have instilled something that will last a lifetime. Instant gratification is a huge problem around the globe and knowing that you can wait is a good thing!
  • Don't buy things you don't have to! If you're dying for that new CD that just came out and you can't find it on the Internet for free, check it out at the library and listen to it. Don't buy the book.....check it out at the library. Don't buy the DVD, check it out at the library, too! There is such a vast amount of waste going on throughout the world isn't it time that we started getting back to less is more? Figure out this one little phrase and say it to yourself each time you think you want to buy something...."Do I need it or do I just want it?" It'll help and it is transmittable to your kids!
  • Fix it yourself/do it yourself! People spend dollar after dollar paying someone else to do some things that they can do themselves. Teach your kids to wash the car, mow the lawn, clean the bathrooms. Do you really need to pay someone to do these things or worse yet, do you have to do them all? No good! Everyone in a family needs to learn the beauty of hard work and using that old fashioned thing called elbow grease. Even something like doing a project of painting your living room as a family can save you big time and teach your kids a great skill!
  • Think outside the box. Go from encumbered to free. Do you have to pay for an expensive vacation to be a happy family? Do you have to go to some great super crowded place to prove that you can have fun? No! Some of the best vacations or memories can be made right in your own backyard. And if not in your own backyard, close by. Remember those places called parks? They're free! Remember places like beaches or lakes where you can rent a rowboat and have a good old fashioned time for just about nothing? Start thinking of ways as a family that you like to spend your time and then trim down the cost by doing things that don't cost an arm and a leg. Play more games!

How to Start Teaching Budgeting to your Kids

Budget Tips for Families

In short, there are a lot of ways that we can all save money and the beauty of having more people involved as a family unit is that I'll bet you dollars to donuts, you can get some really cool ideas on how to save money from your family!

Sometimes the efforts of many can reap huge rewards. Get invested in budgeting but get your family invested in budgeting. It becomes a bit of a challenge but everyone loves a challenge, right?

There are a lot of ways to save money and we're all looking for ways to keep to a budget and still lead a happy life!

If you have more creative budgeting tips for families, please leave your comments below.

Tips on Family Budgeting


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    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 4 years ago from Washington

      Ksenija - thanks so much for stopping by and for the great input!

    • profile image

      KsenijaR 4 years ago

      Love the tips! Specially the one about saving on water and electricity. My own family budget optimization strategy also includes a weekly menu that helps to save on groceries (I only buy according to the list of products required for the menu). I would also add another money saving hints like using your friends (in a good way, sure). Sometimes we really doesn't understand how much we can do for each other in terms of sharing skills, knowledge and even things. And also participation in all kind of competitions with prizes - if you don't win, nothing happens, but you always have a chance to get something for free. There are also some keen money saving tips in this article, that I try to use regularly:

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Thank you so much, Hanna!!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Audrey, this was brilliant hub. Thank you.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Thanks, Dallas!

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Well researched and great information. Thanks for sharing. Flag up and useful.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Makes sense as we are all in the same boat usually, eh? Thanks so much for stopping by Simone - you must be getting carpal tunnel (too)!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 7 years ago from San Francisco

      These are all lovely tips! I love the idea of budgeting together as a family, too.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      I hear you, Crewman6 - it's always there and just learning to define it and make it better is the key! It's a constant thing though I find as it can just get away from you depending on the way your life goes at the moment. Wishing you and Monique every success!

    • Crewman6 profile image

      Crewman6 7 years ago

      Great hub, and very timely. Monique has committed to making this "the year we get out of debt." I'll be happy if it's "the year we reduce our debt by a significant amount." Either way, great advice to start a new year with!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      MT - I hear you - nothing like tough times to help you see things you maybe didn't see before! Wishing you every success in 2011 and Happy New Year to you, too!!

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 7 years ago from Minnesota

      I love this hub on budgeting. I have learned so much about Really budgeting after going through some tough financial times last year. 2011 is gonna be so muc better because of all the budgeting. Thanks again for a very thorough and important hub:) Happy New Year.