Frugality is an important part of managing your household finances. After all, nobody wants to spend any more than necessary. The trouble is that the hectic life of a 21st century parent isn’t conducive to keeping an eye on the ;purse strings. When faced with costs on all fronts the tempting solution is to throw money (or credit) at any given problem and worry about the consequences later. While this mentality is perfectly understandable, it can lead to a lot of wasteful spending. While you can counteract this by making a little extra money in your sparse free time, it’s a universally acknowledged truth that prevention is the best cure. That’s why here we’re looking into common areas of household overspending (and how you can avoid it).
Before we get into specifics, it’s worth remembering that the single best thing you can do to stabilize your household finances is to establish a realistic monthly budget and stick to it.
Credit cards can either be the saviour of your household finances or their ruination. It all depends on your ability to box clever to keep your credit card debt down. Credit card companies want your business. Desperately. In order to get it, they’ll try to lure you in with attractive 0% interest rates over up to 2 years. Sounds great, and it is, but when those 2 years are up, don’t be surprised when the APR skyrockets. Before you know it, the lion’s share of your monthly repayments are going on interest rates and that debt mountain is getting taller and taller. Make sure you shift your debt around to different cards every few years to capitalize on the low introductory rates. Many of them also apply to balance transfers.
There are some areas where it takes money to make (or, as it were, save) money. Tax is most certainly one of those areas. As meticulously as we may work on our taxes every year, most of us aren’t conversant enough with the intricacies of the tax system to know whether or not we’re overspending. A good tax attorney will usually save you more than they cost and give you the peace of mind of knowing that the IRS isn’t taking any more of your hard earned money than they need to. If there’s one area in which everyone enjoys saving, it’s in taxes!
The principle with mortgages is similar to credit cards. It’s not just enough to have one, you have to have the right one for you and your circumstances. Depending on your work situation and income, you may require a mortgage that has more flexibility. Freelancers in particular, have to keep a close eye on their mortgage so that it can expand and contract in accordance with their workload. In times when work is coming in thick and fast from reliable clients, you might want to up your mortgage payments to increase your equity on the property, whereas when work is harder to come by, it’s a better idea to reduce your monthly payments. Your rate should be tracked regularly to ensure that you’re not overspending on interest.
With a little expert advice and knowhow, you’ll be surprised at how much easier managing your household finances becomes.