Staying on top of your finances isn’t always easy.
When you’re a stay at home parent it can often feel like you bring little to the table.
In reality though, your role is as important as the breadwinner.
The person at home often controls the household budget and buys the weekly groceries.
Only One Income
With only one income coming in it’s important to establish your priorities as a family.
If you’re tempted to overuse a credit card to tide you over it can be a slippery slope to neverending debt.
You can earn some additional income by completing online surveys with sites like:
If you’re any good at writing, you could also earn some extra cash by submitting articles on a site like dotWriter.
Or maybe buying and selling on Amazon or eBay could become your thing?
But with only one secure income coming in, you’re always going to have to budget.
Otherwise you could find you’re in overdraft faster than the speed of light.
I budget using You Need A Budget.
As a family, we take account of every penny, whether that be cash in hand or otherwise.
Our budget is divided into :
- immediate obligations;
- true expenses;
- credit card payments;
- quality of life goals; and,
- just for fun.
The lower down the list you go, the less of a priority things should be in the budget.
Staying on top of your finances can feel a whole lot easier if you break things down in this way.
Immediate obligations are the things that you have to pay to keep a roof over your head, the lights on and you have some food in the cupboard.
They are the most important items in the budget and I always allocate money to them first.
I include any recurring monthly payments that I have set up by direct debit.
During the year you more than likely have one off payments you need to make such as having your car serviced.
Planning ahead can help you build up enough money each month to cover these.
I divide the amount I have to pay by 12 and then budget that amount each month for each off one payment.
I include things in this category like our trips over to Ireland by ferry, annual insurance payments and the road tax for the car.
Credit Card Payments
If you’re anything like us, credit card payments are inevitable.
That might be because you’re run up some debt in the past or you’ve decided to splash out on something and you put in on the credit card.
Ideally you’d have enough money in your budget to pay it off in full.
Inevitably you don’t always though so you need a plan to get rid of the debt as soon as possible.
Using YNAB’s goals can help you do that.
Quality Of Life Goals
Whether it’s your perfect holiday, a new house or a new car, there’s something everyone wants that will improve their quality of life.
Having a general savings category doesn’t work.
Giving a specific job to your money does.
It means you can change your priorities if you want.
It also means you know what your money is going to be spent on.
And you can set specific goals in YNAB to help you reach your desires.
Just For Fun
The just for fun category is supposed to be the last one which gets any money allocated to it.
But I find it contains some of the most important things – like some pocket money for my wife and I and for the kids.
So we protect those otherwise life wouldn’t be the same.
Sure we could save more money but you can’t take it with you.
It’s important to have fun!
What Advice Do You Have For Staying On Top Of Your Finances?
Do you find staying on top of your finances easy?
How do you go about budgeting your money?
Please share your tips in the comments section below.