Budgeting Basics: A Mom's Guide to Financial Freedom | Living life with HarassedMom
Budgeting Basics: A Mom's Guide to Financial Freedom

Budgeting Basics: A Mom's Guide to Budgeting

When you have four kids, you learn very quickly how to budget and stretch every penny. Add to the mix, two inconsistent incomes and live suddenly gets pretty hairy, pretty quickly. 

One of my ninja skills is being able to feed, clothe and entertain our family on a very tight budget! It is, however, not an exact science, some months we get it right but there are a few months here and there where we just get it wrong. Despite that we have still managed to get 2 kids to tertiary education and live a pretty good life….on a budget. So I thought I would share some of the things I have learnt over the years, hopefully to help you or at the very least make you feel less alone. These are a few of the budgeting basics that work for us. 

Budgeting Basics: A Mom's Guide to Financial Freedom | Living life with HarassedMom

Budgeting Basics

  1. Assess Where You Are

Before you start, you have to get up close and personal with your current financial situation. Be honest about your income, expenses, debts, savings, and investments. This can be a very confronting exercise but it is essential to be aware of where you are financially (even if it isn’t great).

  1. Set Clear Financial Goals

Define your financial goals, these could range from paying off debts, saving for your children’s education, building an emergency fund, or saving for a dream vacation. Having specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals will guide your budgeting decisions.

  1. Create a Realistic Budget

A budget is a powerful tool to manage your money effectively. Once you have set your budget, you will need to revisit from time to time to make sure you are keeping track of increases, added expenses or increased income. It is a good idea to create a budget with your partner. Be clear on who pays for what and to avoid duplicate payments. Meet regularly to discuss upcoming expenses like holidays, school fees etc. 

  1. Meal Planning and Grocery Budgeting

If I am honest groceries these days seem almost unaffordable. Since we have started our waste-free journey, I have become very intentional about shopping which has also helped us budget. I have a pretty tight grocery budget and the easiest way for me to manage it at the moment is by meal planning, buying only what we need and using up everything before buying more. We have also cut out regular snacks like chips, sweets, chocolates, cookies etc. My kids eat 3 “proper” meals a day and snack on fruit in between if they need to. Our fruit and veg supplier delivers once a week, so they know if the fruit is done, it is done until delivery day again! Every now and then we will bake some muffins or cookies, this works out cheaper for us and I have more control about what goes into them. I also do 90% of my shopping online which helps me stick to my list and not get distracted by sales and other random things in the store. 

  1. Fun Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive

Entertainment expenses can add up quickly, but fun doesn’t have to be costly. A braai with friends can be as much fun as eating out. We spend a lot of time taking our pooches for walks, which is great family time and time outdoors! Being homeschoolers we get a lot of great discounts for activities during the week, we are constantly on the lookout for these. A simple movie day at home can also be fun and inexpensive. The goal, for us, is spending time together, so the activity becomes secondary. 

  1. Savings and Emergency Fund

The experts say you should aim to have three to six months’ worth of living expenses in your emergency fund for added financial security. This can take time to build up and can seem daunting so even if you are saving a small amount each month, priortize putting money away. 

  1. Debt Management

We are almost debt free but didn’t take an easy road to get here. The only debt we have now is our home, we don’t have credit cards, over drafts or store credit anywhere and don’t plan on getting any. If you do have debt though, prioritize paying it off, it not only creates financial stress but also increases anxiety. I know this is easier said than done, so if you need help with this, get it before it is too late. 

Budgeting and adopting mindful spending habits allows you can take control of your finances and work towards your dreams. Remember, it’s a journey, and there might be bumps along the way, but with perseverance and determination, you can pave the way to a more secure and abundant financial future. 

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Budgeting tips for busy moms | Living Life with HarassedMom



9 Responses

  1. Assesing where we are is really a great start. We cant make a plan or any goals if we cant pinpoint where we are.

  2. This is so helpful to moms struggling to budget. I so agree that fun does not have to be expensive.

  3. Great tips Laura. I agree that food shopping is still so expensive. Budgeting helps us too but we still need to watch the cents here 🙂

  4. Kudos to you for mastering the art of budgeting like a true ninja! ???????? Your ability to juggle a family of six on a tight budget is nothing short of remarkable. It’s all about the balancing act, isn’t it? From feeding and clothing to creating moments of joy, you’ve turned budgeting into an impressive skill set.

  5. Budgeting is so, so important and essential. Great tips on how to start and where to budget. There’s always room for improvement, but every little bit helps along the way!

  6. Fantastic guide for moms on achieving financial freedom through budgeting! Your practical tips and relatable approach make handling finances seem less daunting. Thanks for empowering moms to take control of their family’s financial future. A must-read for every household manager!

  7. Great basics to live by, and I totally agree that fun doesn’t have to be expensive. There’s so much you can when you think about it and plan x

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