Nevertheless, with determination and her family’s heartwarming cooperation, she has devised some means of stretching a thinning paycheck. While doing one, she made another discovery: “It brought the family closer, for I felt that the scheme I came up with needed everybody’s opinion.
That meant a lot of communication between parents and children.” She and her husband realized too that when the children are made to participate in the budget discussion, they even volunteer to cut down their expenses.
With her homemade easy-to-follow budget plan, this housewife knows she is saving up to 25 percent of the paycheck without sacrificing her family’s welfare. To live decently and provide the children with a balanced home life, she has drawn up the following budget tips:
- When you prepare a budget, stick to it. The plan may be divided into two general headings: fixed expenses (rent or home amortizations, school tuition, etc.) and fluctuating expenditures (food, entertainment, etc.).
- Shopping is fun, but do it with a list in hand, whether in the supermarket or department store. Check the newspaper for bargain buys. It is also wise to look into flea markets, baratillos, and storewide sales from time to time.
- Don’t get carried away by name brands. Read food labels and ask your family to help you compare prices of the brands you use in various stores. NESTLÉ product labels, you will find information on ingredients, nutrition, claims and other interesting facts under the “Good to Know & “Good to Remember” boxes. These pieces of information help consumers make informed choices.
- Some food items – fresh, frozen, or canned – may be bought in bulk at wholesale prices. Why not ask friends or relatives to buy these items wholesale and split the bulk with you.
- Drop by weekend thrift sales, which are getting popular these days, for home or gift items. Always buy gifts ahead of time to give you a chance to compare prices and choose wisely.
- When using credit cards, be sure you know the cut-off period so you can program your installment payments.
- If the kids are old enough to help, why not ask them to do the household chores with you, instead of hiring more than one help? Make washing the car or dirty dishes a family affair.
- Check installment plans carefully. You might end up paying three to five times more than the real price. Check if the company you are working for has an appliance plan. Your credit union, if you have one, may also be able to assist you.
- Schedule credit card payments, amortizations, taxes, etc. Let your money earn as much interest as it can in the bank. Find out what services are offered in the bank, which can make your savings earn more.
- Entertaining at home is part of living in a community. If you must entertain, then have one memorable affair within the year with everyone invited, instead of having several dinners or luncheons.