24 Helpful Budgeting Tips for Busy Moms
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For mothers, it seems like there are not enough hours in one day to run a household and attend to our children’s needs. This is true if whether you have your own business or you are working a 9 to 5 job. I’ve been in this crazy, overwhelming situation, and I’m telling you that managing your time and battling bills drive mommies crazy. Your hands are always full. In addition to that, you are always looking for ways to save and earn extra money. Let me share with you simple ways to manage your finances!
It’s likely that your biggest expenses will require some planning. To help you stay on track and avoid unnecessary expenses, set your goals. Define the things you’re saving up for!
Reasons to level up your saving game!
1. To pursue your dream career
Moms deserve all the happiness, comfort, and love in the world! Yes, we already have kids, but that doesn’t mean we can no longer go for our dream career. We can only pursue what we want if we have enough savings. If not, we’ll be stuck in that full-time job just to pay the bills. Think about it. Once you have enough cash in your savings account and investments earning huge interests, there’s no reason for you not to go for that profession you love. This might even mean starting your own business like me. I teach people how to set up their own Simple Profit Online course.
2. To reduce stress
Thinking about your expenses and bills day and night? That’s not healthy. The good news is that there is something you can do to lessen your stress. It may take time, yet there is a solution. You need to earn enough money to sustain the needs of your household, so you can relax a bit. Unless you win the lottery, the only way to get hold of it is to save and wait for years. Work hard and maintain a positive attitude.
3. To Become Financially Independent
Soon, when everything already paid off, you can take a vacation anytime, anywhere you want, start your business, switch careers and help other family members. Once you become financially independent, you can even take a lesser-paying yet more fulfilling job.
How to budget when you’re busy and overwhelmed?!
Mommies with full-time jobs or businesses are goal-driven and dedicated, but sometimes it’s not enough. I know how you feel. I’ve been in that situation, and the only thing that fueled me was my goal to provide a better life for me and my family.
The main challenge? There is so much to do and so little time. I work long hours but the paycheck is not enough. I needed to budget well to make ends meet.
Here are easy-to-follow tips that can help you out. With these, I’m sure that soon, you’ll be able to see life-impacting, positive progress.
1. Design your very own “financial vision board.”
Contemplate on your financial goals. Then, think about the awesome life you can live once you achieve them.
Vacation in your dream destinations?! A debt-free life?! Grab some magazines, paint, or other creative (and recyclable?!) materials that will help you make the best financial vision board.
This is also an amazing activity to do with your kids! Post it somewhere to remind you of all the things you’re trying to meet.
2. Get your partner on board.
When it comes to money matters, you and your partner are the main bosses. Involve them in the budget planning process. As long as there is open communication between the two of you, everything will turn out well.
You can start the year by assessing your finances and then making adjustments depending on holidays, birthdays, and emergencies.
One of the most important things to remember here is to categorize everything according to your wants and needs. Prioritize your needs and delay your wants. Discuss these in accordance with your family values and goals.
3. Brainstorm creative ways to save money.
Schedule a brainstorming session with the entire family. You’ll never know!
Maybe your kids have awesome money-saving ideas that you would want to implement each month.
It’s a fun activity to do, something that can also teach your children good family finance practices.
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4. Plan your meals before heading to the grocery store.
Food and grocery shopping can eat up a big portion of your budget. The solution? Try to plan your meals before buying ingredients and other food products.
I was able to save so much money when I started meal planning. Buy only the ones on your list of ingredients, use coupons, and as much as possible buy sale items.
Don’t forget to include the leftovers inside your fridge when you make your meal plan!
5. Rely on technology for a faster, more efficient routine!
Moms with full-time jobs should learn how to take advantage of technology for a much faster budgeting routine. Today, there’s a wide range of platforms available to help people manage their money. Here, I have an awesome suggestion that will work for you — Pigly.
Think of this as a collection of virtual calculators organized per category. Tracking your savings goals? Budget planning? Personal loan calculator?
They have it! Even if you are not tech-savvy, you can use their calculators. It’s very intuitive and user friendly. Using a powerful tool like Pigly will save you tons of time and effort.
6. Have an excel sheet of all your monthly expenses and budget.
Create an excel sheet template, and make sure to use it for your monthly expenses and budget. It’s always better to set aside enough money one month ahead of time.
Microsoft Excel + Pigly = efficient budgeting! For remote access for you and the hubby, upload this spreadsheet in a cloud.
7. Set up an emergency fund.
No one ever wants to have an emergency, but we also don’t want to go through a financial crisis. What if something happens to your full-time job or business?
This is where your emergency fund comes in. Prepare for this by putting aside a few extra dollars every month that you can use in emergency situations.
In line with this, getting health insurance is also a great idea. Hospital bills are expensive, and anyone in the family can get ill out of nowhere.
8. Shop household items in bulk.
Buying items in bulk is a brilliant way to cut down the costly per-item price of household products.
If you have young children who use hundreds of wipes and diapers, or grown-up kids who devour dozens of juices and crackers, it’s best to stock up to enjoy a lower total price. Doing this can also cut down the number of trips to the grocery store.
9. Think about borrowing second-hand items from friends and family.
Some household items get very limited use before living all of their lives inside a cabinet or shelf, collecting endless amounts of dust. Before investing in new ones, why not borrow first?
Maybe a good friend of yours has a copy of that very good book. Go ahead and borrow it first before buying your own copy. If you love it, then, by all means, get one for yourself.
10. Shop used items.
If none of your family or friends have pre-loved items that you can borrow, you can look for second-hand online stores that sell amazing, quality products.
For example, baby clothes. Babies grow up fast, so the most practical thing to do is go through garage sales, second-hand shops, and clothing swap opportunities.
Remember, your young kids are the hosts of ongoing household expenses. Don’t let them drain your wallets! Always resort to smart shopping techniques.
11. Negotiate your bills.
Sometimes it works, sometimes no. It never hurts to try. Always be on the lookout for discounts and promotions. Go through companies’ social media accounts or websites.
Once in a while, call your insurance company, phone company or cable provider, and ask them if you are eligible for any promotion running at the moment. Here’s a tip.
If they tell you that you’re not eligible, let them know that you are considering to shift to another provider. Most likely, your call will be transferred to their customer loyalty team, where you’ll be offered certain discounts.
12. Save those pennies.
Coins feel useless and heavy to carry around, but don’t just toss them anywhere. They are still money, and you’ll be amazed as to how quickly they add up. Just keep them in a tin can or mason jar.
Check it each time you purchase car accessories, go on a vacation, and buy coffee.
13. Go for reusable, eco-friendly household items.
Disposable products such as paper towels are affordable, but buying them can cost thousands of dollars over time. Once you learn how to use washable kitchen towels, I swear, you’ll be able to save a lot!
Try using washable ones. Those are about the same price as the disposable ones. If washed properly, they can last for many years. Another example is the switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.
Sure, they are less convenient and require a bit of work, but they are surely cost-effective in the long run. Not to mention it has a hugely positive effect on your carbon footprint.
14. Make your own presents!
Instead of buying gifts from the store, why not make them yourself? It’s more special, and at the same time can help you save money. You can make candles, food mixes, soap or cookies.
These are easy to make and requires simple, inexpensive ingredients. What’s even more special about this is that you can add your own personal touch–something that you can’t buy from any shop. Don’t forget to include an inspirational, handwritten note.
15. Be a one-car family.
For huge families with many kids who need to be transported to multiple places, the idea of having just one car sounds weird. However, buying a car, insuring it, and paying for maintenance fees are expensive. You can even get cash back by selling your car to a company, even if it’s crashed or damaged.
Sacrifice a bit. Make the necessary adjustments to make it work.
Maybe some family members can carpool or you can bike to work or if you own your own home-based business – you can work from home.
16. Settle for free or low-cost activities.
Another big expense for most parents out there are the activities and classes our children want to sign up for. These are important for our kids and can teach them a lot of life lessons. Fortunately, we can do it in a more frugal manner!
Explore your local library’s weekly events. I’m sure there are plenty of activities that they will enjoy. There are also schools that offer affordable enrichment classes.
Some of them will even waive the fees if you show proof of financial hardship. Try to limit your children’s extracurricular commitments to 1 to 2 each week. That way, you can save, and make room for family time.
17. Start a garden.
Not all families have a garden, but in case you’re one of those who have space, till up a patch and plant vegetables and fruits. Gardening is an inexpensive hobby that can produce healthy food for the entire family.
Just imagine harvesting tomatoes every summer. You can eat them fresh, or make paste, juices, and sauces! No need to run to the grocery store to make delicious ketchup and pizza sauce!
18. Invite loved ones over instead of going out.
Going out of town and eating out at restaurants are fun but can ruin your financial goals. It’s always cheaper to stay at home, invite friends over, and explore affordable entertainment.
Just stay at home, play cards, and watch movies. If you want, you can even serve them delicious meals with those veggies you harvested from your yard.
19. Repair old clothes instead of throwing them away.
Don’t throw away a dress because of a broken button. I know you’re so busy, but soon you can make time to sew on a new one using a closely-matched thread.
Even those shirts with holes on them can be repaired by putting in some sort of patch. If you think it doesn’t look nice enough to be worn outside, you can wear them around the house.
I seriously think that learning basic sewing skills is a great idea, and allows us, mommies, to save and extend the lives of our favorite clothes!
20. Don’t overspend on skincare and hygiene products.
Believe it or not, inexpensive products work just as well as the most expensive ones. It wouldn’t hurt to shop around for deodorant or toothpaste.
Look into affordable skincare items. As long as you use them regularly and keep yourself clean at all times, you’re good. No need to buy an overpriced facial scrub or lotion unless it gives you superior results.
21. Try generic brands of different items that you purchase regularly.
Why don’t you explore cheaper, generic-branded products? Trust me, many times generic versions are just as efficient as name brands! Save a few cents, and in time, your grocery bill will get smaller and smaller.
22. Don’t “stress spend.”
It’s completely fine to reward yourself because of your hard work. However, doing it often can result in financial damage. Instead of getting on a purchasing spree, look for other ways to de-stress.
Maintaining a consistent exercise routine and meditating are great alternatives. They may be old-fashioned but can make you feel better after a whole day of work. Spending money won’t lessen your stress in the long run!
23. Let go of automatic memberships and subscriptions.
I’m sure you’re paying for multiple subscriptions such as Spotify, Hulu, Netflix, as well as gym memberships. Do you use all of them regularly?
If you don’t, it’s time to cancel some of them. Moreover, turn off the auto-renew option each time you buy an app.
If you decide to keep all of your subscriptions, consider sharing your membership with friends or other family members. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
24. Learn to live a simpler life.
We always think that more kids equate to a bigger space and more expenses. However, living a simple lifestyle is still possible even with a bigger family.
Do you need a big house with a spacious yard? Maybe your kids can share rooms for now?
Why don’t you leverage on neighborhood parks as playgrounds for now, instead of renovating your home? Also, holidays can still be magical even without pricey decorations.
While they are young, teach your children how to embrace the value of togetherness over luxury. This can result in not just savings, but amazing core values.
When it comes to budgeting, be flexible yet consistent!
What do you think of these money-saving tips? While organizing your budget the way you want it may take some time, these guidelines are really helpful.
Be patient with yourself. You’ll make some mistakes as you go along, but the most important thing here is that you’ll immediately bounce back and make a bigger, positive difference.
Don’t get frustrated and angry. You can always get back to your motivated self the following day.