No matter how big or small the family is, its bills can stack up without you noticing, especially when self-employed. Between the household and business expenses, the importance of careful financial planning cannot be emphasized enough. Discipline is also essential to keeping those bank accounts balanced. Among many reliable ways to save money, there are four key parts of family life that can be kept under control with patience and organization.
Food is currently one of the hottest topics in existence. The internet is full to bursting with quick, clever and cheap recipes for every family size and appetite. The BBC, for example, offers 55 dishes to have fun preparing at home, from asparagus and meatball orzo to falafel burgers. These meals can be a bonding experience for the whole family, but also far less expensive than ordering pizza or eating out. For a self-employed household, shopping smart via coupons or extensive retailer comparisons will make a considerable difference to your expenses and meal quality.
Like food, the energy spent in your house can put a dent in your finances if not handled properly. In addition to not wasting electricity, gas or water, and making sure the building is well insulated and all systems are in working order, consider a few other money-saving and energy-efficient elements. Invest in appliances and CFL lightbulbs that are designed to help reduce the amount of energy consumed by a single house. Also, a smart meter makes monitoring your usage easier and more detailed. When it comes to being self-employed, this source of data is invaluable when calculating the cost of your monthly habits.
Since work and home are fundamentally linked, even more so for the self-employed, securing the business aspects of your family is vital to dodging the financial impact of unpleasant surprises. For example, searching for construction insurance online will quickly show how volatile such a business can be. Considering the many physical aspects that could go wrong, a self-employed carpenter or electrician is legally obligated to at least have general liability insurance, which covers harm to third parties. Shop around for the deal that best suits your particular kind of work, focusing on the potential risks, what their minimum coverage should be, and what you can afford.
Furniture & Products
Household and reusable items have cheaper alternatives. Think about how much use you can make out of one product compared to another. When on a budget, choosing the item that costs less and lasts longer is the better purchase for your finances, not to mention the planet. Furniture is a more complicated matter, but one with its own solution. As tempting as a brand new leather couch may be, for example, searching for an equivalent in second-hand stores is certain to yield more than satisfying choices. Assuming you work from home, a desk and other office equipment are probably needed, which retailers can supply at a price lower than if these items were new.
What else could you watch out for? Make a plan containing these and any other family finance features you can think of. Then strategize on how they can be tackled in the most cost-effective way.