Easy ways to get a handle on your family finances

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The vast majority of people have only a vague idea of where their money goes. This is largely because the task of managing the family’s finances seems like it is too big to handle properly. In reality, as you will see, it need not be like that. Once you have set things up you can easily do everything you need in less than an hour a month.

Sort out your debt

Top of your to-do list has to be sorting out your debt. I was stunned to read that the average British household owes £15,400 not including their mortgage. That is £886 more than, last year. Debt is a growing issue. If you leave things to carry on mounting up most of your spare income will be swallowed up in interest payments.

There are several ways to get on top of your debt. Insolvency practitioners like Creditfix are available to help. The approaches they suggest are well worth considering

Once you know how much you owe, you can work out a monthly repayment plan and set that money aside. It may take years, to clear your debt completely. But, it really is worth doing.

Work out your regular bills

Part of the process of tackling your debt is to work out how much it costs you to live and where your money is going. The easiest way to do this is to use an Excel worksheet template like this one. You just need to type in the amounts and press a button to see where your cash is going.

Start using a budgeting app

If you are not already doing so, download a Smartphone app that enables you to track your spending. Mint or Money Dashboard are two very good ones. Both of them enable you to connect your bank accounts and credit cards to the app. So, at a glance you can see what is being spent in live time.

It is also possible to set budgets for anything you like. Doing this is a really good way of keeping your spending under control. The moment you are about to spend more on clothes than your budget allows, you will be notified. You then have the choice of whether to ignore that warning or carry on spending. It is surprising how often you will pause and put that dress back and wait until next month to buy some new clothes.

Identify ways to pay less for what you need

Once you have a clear view of your family finances you can start to look at ways of getting more for your cash. Again, use your Smartphone or the web to do this. Download a couple of discount and supermarket price comparison apps and start to use them. You will soon work out which ones work best for you.

As you can see getting your family finances under control is not difficult. The tricky bit is finding the willpower to get started.

Posted in Family Life and Parenting, Home & Garden and tagged get on top of your debt, making your family budget work, managing your finances, money advice.