Unfortunately for your family transportation budget, you can’t gradually wean your cars off of fuel or stretch your tanks of gas by watering the fuel down, much the same as a summer camp might stretch their powdered milk supply. Saving money on gas costs is possible, however, by some common sense measures and an initial investment toward the ultimate goal of decreasing fuel use.
Family finance tips
At Gerber Life we know the value of a hard-earned dollar. And when you're raising a family, it becomes even more important to stretch that dollar as far as it can go to help you save money. Our family finance tips can help you make smart decisions for spending your money as well as help you make use of opportunities to save it. Whether it's clipping coupons before grocery shopping or throwing a do-it-yourself (DIY) children's birthday party, our family finance tips can help you think outside the box so that you can save money.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion’s January 2012 Cost of Food Survey, an average family of four living on a moderate spending budget accumulates a monthly grocery shopping bill of approximately $861 – $1,024. Those numbers are only expected to rise as inflation and fuel prices continue to escalate – leaving many families to wonder how they will afford such high register check-out prices. Fortunately, there are some grocery shopping tips you can use to trim back your grocery bill each month without sacrificing too many of the foods you enjoy most.
We’d all like to go green – trade in that gas-guzzling SUV for an electric car, transform the backyard into an organic vegetable garden, and remodel the house using sustainable, environmentally friendly materials. But these changes represent a substantial investment of time, effort – and money.
Although there aren’t always hard and fast allowance rules, the ideal time to start giving an allowance to your child is at the beginning of the school year. An allowance teaches discipline and responsibility, forcing kids to think about choices and consequences. It’s also a great tool for math, money management and saving for the future. When these skills are applied to children’s schoolwork, you may actually see improved grades, an increased desire to learn, and greater confidence.
What is the best age for starting an allowance?
You may have seen or heard a variety of answers to this question, including comments that most money experts agree that preschoolers are too young to have an allowance because they don’t fully understand the concept of money. Once kids are in school and begin learning about dollars and cents and buying and selling, they likely have a much better idea of what it means to spend money from their own stash versus having mom or dad pay. Because you know your child better than anyone else, however, you are best-qualified person to decide the age at which your son or daughter is ready to be paid.
You might recoil at the thought of living within your means, assuming this will be a stressful and unhappy lifestyle. However, living on a budget need not be an unpleasant habit.
Learn What You’re Spending
Budgeting can be challenging until you learn about your current spending habits. Keeping a daily log for around a month will give you the information you need to create a workable budget.
Record every dollar spent for a short while. You will be amazed at the small amounts of money you spend that add up to much larger dollars. For example, that large exotic latte you buy to start your workday may cost only $2 more than a normal cup of coffee. However, you’ll lose at least $10 per week in unnecessary expense.