Once you’re finished crunching the numbers, work out your new monthly budget and try to stick to it (that’s the important bit, sticking to it!). If at all possible, try to set a little extra aside in savings each month for those inconveniences that always seem to crop up just as you think you’ve got it sussed!
It might be a good idea to get the kids involved too, I know some parents don’t like to let their kids know if they’re in any kind of financial spot, but I find telling mine a little bit of what’s happening doesn’t do any harm. Letting them know that if we go to the cinema to watch that “must see” flick this weekend, it’ll be coming out of the music lessons fund. This helps them to prioritise too and to understand the importance of knowing where money comes from and how it gets spent.
Now that you know how much you have and haven’t got, it’s a good idea to keep on top of it, review your budget plan every few weeks, if it isn’t working for you, make some changes to make it work for you!
If you’re finding it hard to manage or every time you think you’re making ends meet somebody moves the ends, then maybe it’s time for some independent advice.
There are services such as Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) or Citizens Advice that give free, impartial advice on money management, so if you are struggling, do contact them, it won’t do any harm and chances are it may help.