6 Ways To Manage A Budget
So think twice before concluding that you need to bring in more income to make the budget balance. Working longer hours, getting an extra job, or putting another member of the family into the job market may well detract too much from the quality of your family life.
And oftentimes families that take on extra secular work so as to meet some particular expense find themselves in a materialistic trap: Long after the expense is met they keep working. That added income becomes irresistible. So take another look at the budget and see if yet further (painful though they may be) cuts can be made. Here are a few suggestions:
- Recreation and Entertainment: In the United States over 6 percent of income is spent on recreation and entertainment. This may just be too high for you. Reading, outings to the park, and so forth, are far less expensive than movies, restaurants, and sporting events.
- Expensive Bad Habits: Some spend $1.25 out of every $100 (U.S.) on tobacco. Gambling is another expensive vice. Would eliminating such habits strengthen your budget?
- Food and Drink: Alcoholic beverages are pleasurable but unnecessary. Plain foods, such as baked potatoes, are often not only cheaper but more nutritious than their fancier counterparts (such as French fries). In-season foods are also less costly. Rather than throwing out leftovers, find ways of using them, such as in stews and casseroles.
- Credit: Use conservatively, if at all. Money borrowed or items bought on credit may cost more because of interest.
- Telephone calls: If long-distance calls are creating a financial burden, consider cutting down on them. At times discounts are given for making such calls at certain hours of the day. Remember, too, people still enjoy receiving letters.
- Clothing: Do not rush to follow the latest styles. Conservatively styled clothes are often better purchases. A housewife may want to consider making clothing for herself and the children.
After a period of no little travail, your budget will at last look workable. A few adjustments here and there and the family can view their accomplishment with pride. But now the hard part begins.