Saturday, May 29, 2010

Guest Post - Savings Guide for Parents


photo: alancleaver
One of the toughest jobs parents have to face is the responsibility of saving up for the family. It can be a difficult lifestyle to adapt into especially for first-parents. There’s also the misconception that savings is only for the kids’ college education when in reality, you can apply this into so many things.

You and the family no longer have to skip another fun summer getaway if you have a travel savings on hand. Every once in a while you and your spouse can splurge on couples’ time if you have savings for dates. Your kids no longer have to experience the usual hand-me-downs if you have savings for their other necessities such as clothes and school supplies.

Log Your Monthly Expenses

Before you begin creating your savings project, it’s important to set realistic goals first. Make it a point to log down every expense you’ve had for the previous month until the present. Distinguish them between bills and personal expenses. From this list, you can begin trimming off those which you can actually do without.

You can also make some adjustments on some of the expenses you have like travel. If you think you spend too much for gas then if possible, take some days off from using the car and just take public transportation to work. If the kids get too much allowance because you allow them to buy food in the cafeteria, then give them home-made meals on some days.
Just remember that these changes do not have to be implemented right away. If other family members will be involved and are likely to get affected, then make the changes slowly and gradually. Also, let them know why such changes are to be done.

Include Yourself in the Expenses

Most parents forget this when planning for a savings. This does not mean splurging on the first pair of shoes that catches your eye nor finally buying that SUV you’ve been eyeing all these years. What this means is that you also give yourself some practical amount of expense every month so you don’t end up feeling deprived and at the most unprecedented time suddenly feel the urge to splurge.

You should also include here starting your own savings fund such as a retirement package or saving up for health insurance. Aside from you, your spouse and your kids will also benefit from these life-savings programs.

Always Pay Your Debt on Time

Do not miss out on monthly debts especially if they are charged to your credit. Most people end up being drowned in debt because of the interest that builds up from it. Another way to counter this problem is to use your credits wisely. If it helps, leave the credit cards someplace safe and uneasy to reach so you would not get tempted to use them.

As you create your monthly expense log, most of these debts would fall under the bills section. Keep in mind that the bills are equally important with the personal expenses, if not somewhat more important. If you can’t pay for the month, make sure you track the interest rates or find a way to make even staggered payments just so you can avoid tarnishing your credit history.

Savings Guide for Parents
  was originally posted on the blog


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