Being a parent, you know how hard it can be to manage money. You’ve got your own financial responsibilities to keep in mind, while also tackling expenses that comes with raising children. One of the best things you can do as a parent is to teach your kids good financial habits. But struggling to manage your finances can have a profound effect on your lifestyle. In this article, we’ll be going over a few methods parents can use to manage their money.
Track What You’re Spending
Your money management journey begins by tracking what you and your family is spending. By tracking what’s spent over time allows you to see what areas are costing you money. From there, you’ll be able to make the necessary changes. Your expenses consist of necessities and splurges, like eating out and spending money for a subscription-based service. Some of your money may be going to expenses you may not even be aware of. These must be cut out of your budget at all costs as they can drain your finances very quickly.
Come Up with a New Budget
Once you’ve managed to track where your money is going to, your next course of action is to create a new budget. You’ll need to include all your expenses, such as rent or mortgage, utilities, and groceries in your new budget. With the information you’ve gathered from tracking your finances, you’ll be able to have an easier time coming up with a better savings plan. An efficient budget can also help alter your mental approach to debt by showing you how you can manage it as opposed to being stressed and not knowing where or how to start.
Use Every Benefit to Your Advantage
An underrated tactic parents need to use more is to take advantage of every benefit they have. If you have children under the age of 18, you’re eligible for the Child Tax Credit. The Child Tax Credit helps make it easier for parents to take care of their children by offsetting a lump sum of cash. Each child up to age six is worth up to $3,600 while others no older than 17 is worth up to $3,000.
Another benefit parents can use is to cosign their children’s student loans. A cosigner is someone who agrees to sign off on a loan, so the other party has a better chance of being approved. In most cases, cosigners are parents for their child’s student loans. Being a cosigner is something that takes a lot of thought and trust to do. If the other party is unable to pay their dues, the responsibility will automatically fall to you. This can have a negative impact on your score if you’re not careful.
But doing so can make you eligible to some amazing benefits. For starters, as an Earnest cosigner for student loans, it makes it more likely for their child to receive lower interest rates. Interest rates are, unfortunately, notorious for making student loans extremely difficult to pay back. Having a cosigner with a good credit history involved is a great way to lower them. Additionally, the cosigner may also be able to write off the deductions on their taxes while also being eligible for student loan forgiveness of their own. Make sure to research about being a cosigner to learn what other benefits may be in store for you.
Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help
If you find yourself struggling with money, ask for help. You’re not alone, and there are many resources available to you. Ask friends and family members if they have any ideas about how to manage your budget better than what you’re currently doing. Your parents are an excellent to go for inspiration as you could adopt their strategy.
Get Your Children Involved
As a parent, your role is to ensure your child will be able to make it on their own one day. There’s no better way to start than by teaching them the importance of budgeting. Start by teaching them about saving and spending wisely. Show them how their money will grow over time when they invest it instead of spending it on unnecessary items that won’t last long. One way you could go about it is to explain to them why paying off debt is more important than buying a new phone every year or why they need to start creating an emergency fund. Instilling this information early on is a fantastic way to help them in their future.
Create an Emergency Fund
Every parent should always have an emergency fund on the backburner. It’s important to have an emergency fund set up to help you weather unexpected financial storms. The key is to create a separate account that can be used only for emergencies, such as paying off medical bills or repairing property damage. An emergency fund should never be used for things like groceries, rent, or utilities unless it’s absolutely necessary.