A lot of times when your family isn’t involved with budgeting your finances they don’t understand when times are tight. They don’t understand when you have a lot of bills due and you can’t afford to go out to eat or buy the cool short at the department store. When they think money grows on trees and going out to eat every night is an option it’s time to get them involved.
One thing that’s important to know when you decide the family needs to be involved with your budget, is you can’t be embarrassed about anything. You need to be honest with everything and lay it all out on the line. If you sugar coat things or hide things they won’t know the true situation you’re in and they’ll think you have the money needed to do the things they want to do.
Before you sit down with your family you need to be prepared ahead of time. You need to have a list of all your bills and your income. It’s important to include groceries, gasoline, and other expenses that may come up either monthly or once a year. Yearly expenses would be license plates, clothing for school, and other fees that come up along these lines.
Once these are gathered you’ll want to sit down with your family and show them how everything looks. Write down on paper your pay dates and what bills will be paid with each check. Once you have all of this done you’ll be able to show your family what you have left and they’ll know where you sit with your money each month.
Depending on the age of your children you may want to share other parts of the budgeting process with them. If they’re old enough to understand the value of a dollar and how far it goes, you may ask your child to help you come up with ways to save money so you have more money at the end of the month. They may be able to help you save money at the store by not asking to buy things that aren’t really needed. They can also help by adding up the dollar amount used each time you go out to eat.
If you have teenagers you might encourage them to get a job and create their own budget. They’ll be able to pay for things to help the family out. For example, they can pay for that really cool shirt they see at the mall or the pair of shoes that aren’t needed, but a must-have in their eyes. This will help the family to have more money and they’ll have an idea of what the value of a dollar really is.
Budgets are not an easy thing to deal with and when you have a family it may be even harder to handle. When you include the family they’ll have a better feel for how you sit financially. They’ll understand why you say no when they ask for something or when you have to buy generic instead of name brand. It’s important to be honest and share everything with your family so they don’t get upset with you when it comes to talking about money.
Budgeting with an entire family can be hard. We’ve helped hundreds of families try to find ways to save for retirement, vacations, big purchases, etc.
If you’d like some help with your family budget, give us a call or drop us an email.
Long Financial Services