Getting the whole family involved in solving financial problems
Whole Family Financial Solutions
by Veronica Bowman
Radical Cost Cutting
11 Ways to Teach Kids about Money
Your Teens and Money
If your financial pinch has progressed from a temporary situation to a complete lifestyle alteration, you may be in need of some words of encouragement. Budget restraints and financial concerns affect everyone who lives in your house. The degree to which each person feels the impact varies, especially in regard to children. Very young children may not actually be aware of how family finances affect them whereas older children can take an active part in implementing budgeting ideas.
As time passes, you and those living with you may begin to feel a little weary of frugal living, especially if trying to get the most out of every dollar is a survival method more than a lifestyle choice. If you're feeling a little frustrated, you may be in need of a morale booster for your frugal lifestyle. There are several ways to banish the frugal living doldrums.
Make Frugality a Game
Let everyone in the household be a frugality detective. If the children catch Mom and Dad leaving lights on, wasting water, or doing anything that is not frugal, they tell them about it and are rewarded with a set amount of money deposited in their personalized savings jar. When parents see children doing frugal things like closing the door behind them so heating and cooling bills don't skyrocket or turning lights off when they leave a room, they reward the child for their frugal habits. Rewards don't have to be monetary rewards. You could give homemade coupons redeemable for something a child enjoys, such as a special edible treat or for gaining extended TV time or a later bedtime.
Thank You Notes
Post a note of thanks on the refrigerator or message board or slip one into their lunch bag when you know someone has taken an extra step toward saving money and helping the family budget.
Keep a suggestion box in a general location for family members to place money saving ideas in. Once again, reward them for their contribution. Children are good observers. They might pick up some frugal lunch ideas from friends at school. Adults should always be on the lookout for new money-saving methods and ideas.
Bargain with Your Budget
Find one area where you might be able to pinch a penny a little harder in order to add pennies to the leisure section of the budget. For example, refrain from dining out for a longer period of time than usual in order to enjoy an evening out with your spouse at a more elaborate restaurant. Take advantage of local restaurant coupons for some bonus family treats. BOGO offers at local restaurants give you an opportunity to occasionally enjoy an unplanned treat.
You should never cut all enjoyable activities from the budget. That would lead to depression, anger, frustration, and could cause a wide assortment of negative repercussions. There's always a way to create family fun or for a couple to enjoy some romantic moments together regardless of how tight the budget might be.
It's always good to look on the bright side of every situation. While you may be living frugally now out of necessity, try to find solace in knowing that when the tide turns and your financial situation improves, you will have adjusted to a frugal lifestyle. You will know how to manage your finances and how to get the most out of every dollar you spend. Then, you can put most of your extra money in savings and improve your financial future without putting a strain on your budget or a restraint on your lifestyle.
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- For more financial solutions, please visit The Dollar Stretcher Library.
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