For me, having children was always going to be a part of what I imagined my life to be. However, I had sort of envisaged the associated expense of rearing a mini me to come in phased blocks that were predictable, easy to deal with, and had an end in sight. What I didn’t see coming was having children ten years apart, leading to my finances taking a hit over an extended period. Keeping my finances in check over the years has been anything but simple. That’s why I’ve decided to share some top tips on how you could fix your finances and make the most of your money.
Map it out – own your debt
First thing is first. Debt is no walk in the park. If you have average debts such as home payments, car payments, and mobile phone payments blowing a hole in your monthly earnings, the last thing you need is loan or credit card payments taking their toll. That’s why today is an important day. Yes, today. Right here and right now, you can take charge of your debt. This site, for example, offers a debt calculator that can help you to gain instant perspective over how much comes in, how much goes out, and how much you can afford to spend on treats. This can seem a little like checking your bank balance a week before payday (only crazy people do that), but if you’re serious about fixing your finances, you need to stare the problem in the face.
Cheap days out
You likely already know all of the parks and beaches and countryside walks that are within driving distance of your home. These are free and offer a great way to get everybody out of the house for a few hours – throwing money at boredom is a common leak in most people’s finances. But here’s another trick to add to your repertoire of money saving family days out: buy season passes. Perhaps you have a zoo or an aquarium or a theme park nearby? Look into season passes for a go-to way of always ensuring you have something fun to do – the tickets are often nowhere near as expensive as you might think, and will save you bags of cash in the long run.
Staycations & city breaks
Forget Florida. Say goodbye to Greece. Wave seeya later to Spain. If only temporarily while you get back on track with your spending habits. You see, if you want more to show for your money, consider a staycation or – at a push – a short city break (involving the cheapest of flights). All too often we become accustomed to our usual yearly spends without realising that a holiday abroad is a dead weight that can be replaced with a weekend away to some historic town or city within a two to five hour drive away. Go and take in some local history and save the big money spending for financially healthier days.