My children ages 5 & 3 get an allowance for helping around the house, making beds, laundry, helping set the table etc. It motivates them & they learn to save their money, give some to those in need & earn money for spending!
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Save money on home entertainment and put what you would have spent on sitting on your backside into a vacation fund or something else special for you and/or your entire family
Don't pay monthly for cable or satellite television service! Watch your DVD collection, get your favourite TV shows on DVD, or better yet, turn off the tube and have some family time! Skip the commercials tempting you to spend your money!
I have a young cousin who will face numerous heart surgeries. A lot of her medical procedures are provided through Medicare/Medicaid, but the expense for her young parents and little brother to stay in the area [3 hours away from home] are very hard for the family to come up with. Wishing to make a donation, but with my own funds being tight, I took books in my house that I deemed non-necessary to a used book store to start a fund so that I can provide the young family with at least a day's
worth of expenses prior to the surgery. I have rolled pennies and nickels, and will be finding other things to do so as to meet my goal by the end of January. It also will help to take care of some of the clutter in my house!
Have both an Emergency Fund and an Annual Bill fund
While trying to live within your means works you need to also fund out of your cash flow an emergency fund and an annual costs fund. Once those are funded , everyday buffets don't make such an impact from needing a new washer to a long call to the plumber.
The best change we accomplished was when we had an annual living expenses fund. That meant we could live without any money coming in for a year. For me, this fund was actually better than anything.
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