Buddha says, “The root of suffering is attachment.” Seems rather harsh, but if you really think about it, there’s truth to it. Attachment to other people — your family, in particular — puts you at risk of very challenging situations. The desire to provide them comfort, joy, and certainty about the future often demands great sacrifices on your part. At times, it can even put you in a financially compromising position because you simply cannot ignore their needs and wants.
If family life is costing you too much and you’re concerned that you won’t have enough money tucked away for retirement, financial advisers say that being a smart steward of your resources should begin now. This usually starts with small changes, but eventually, you’ll find yourself ready to implement big ones in order to better secure your own future.
To get you started, here are creative ways to pare down family life costs.
- Call insurance agencies and ask if it’s possible to reduce your monthly payments, such as raising your deductible. Alternatively, inquire about programs that come with much lower regular payments so you can direct more money toward your retirement fund.
- Another sound piece of financial advice from the experts is to do away with gym memberships. With all the free fitness programs you can find online these days, you can save a lot of money by not turning to a facility to keep you and your family healthy.
- Use coupons. Get a cue from couponing experts and discover how you can greatly reduce the amount of money you spend on food and other household necessities. Most stores have coupons that they give away and offer online.
- Tack your spending in detail for one month, and then evaluate your expenses realistically. Afterwards, plan a scaled-down budget that you can stick with.
- Setting up an automatic monthly transfer to your savings account is another important financial tip. You are more likely to save money if it doesn’t reach your checking account.
- Experiment with your weekly menu. Check out popular restaurant offerings, then look for their recipes online and make them for the family yourself. In doing this, you can avoid going to restaurants where meals are often overpriced.
- Plan your errands with the family carefully. This will prevent you from making spontaneous trips to the grocery store or the mall where unplanned and unnecessary purchases are often made.
- When catalogs arrive, recycle them immediately. Then, remove yourself from the mailing list and avoid the temptation to buy the latest fancy things that your family does not really need.