5 Ways to put your family on a budget

How can you get the entire family on board with the family budget? Financial experts and real moms weigh in on how you can spend less and save more without your family feeling like they are making huge sacrifices.

Family watching movies together

The best way to stick to a budget is by getting the whole family involved in the process. Check out our tips on setting a family budget and stick to it.


By working towards a goal, such as a family vacation, it will be easier to get the kids involved in saving money and spending more frugally. “When creating our family’s new budget, we cut out things that aren’t important to us (like cable) to make room for the things that are (schooling and vacations),” says Heather Sokol, founder of Inexpensively.com. “We find ways to keep our favorite things in the budget (free concerts, frugal fun and movie nights in), rather than eliminating them altogether.”

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2Talk openly about money

“Talking openly with [kids] about how we budget our money and where we choose to spend it helps them to see that it’s about choices, not doing without,” says Sokol. “If I need to get specific, we discuss whether they really miss TV when internet episodes and Hulu make it so easy to catch up or if they’d rather have stayed home this summer instead of spending a week at the beach. I ask if they would rather go to a movie every weekend, instead of having memories from our Disney vacation.”

She also says to pay attention to how you talk about money. For instance, instead of saying “We can’t afford it,” say “We have other plans for our money” or “That is not in our budget this month.”

3Reassure kids

“When talking to your kids about a family budget, reassure them that although you will be cutting back in certain areas, all of their basic needs will be met,” says Candi Wingate, President of Nannies 4 Hire. “There will be food on the table, a house to come to and a car to pick them up from school.”

4Involve the kids in decision-making

If you must make drastic cut-backs, talk to your kids and let them in on areas you will be cutting back. Wingate suggests only cutting back one thing at a time. “If they can only keep one extra school activity or sport out of three, let them pick the one they want.”

5Find coupons together

“Engage your whole family in the value-seeking process,” says Lisa Reynolds, the Mom-Saver-in-Chief at RedPlum. “Ask them to spend twenty minutes per week looking for coupons online or in the newspaper on the products that they or the family use most. Then, the family can meet before the weekly grocery shop and hand over the coupons they found.”

Reynolds says that if you spend twenty minutes per week looking for value, you’ll save over $1000 each year!

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