Managing a large family unit is not easy. While people have large families for different reasons, there is no doubt that it can be both challenging and rewarding. Just take the joy and stress of managing a small family and multiply it tenfold. As the parent or guardian, running a large household on a budget is a skill you have to adapt and refine as often as you can. While it may seem daunting at first, all you need to do is to develop strategies to help you manage the household without hurting your finances.
Planning is always a good idea for anyone running a family. However, when you are running a large household, it is a necessity. Just like any other project, it is important to have a game plan. The first place you need to start is by figuring out what areas of your family need planning.
This can range from chores, laundry, vacation, sleep and meal times etc. Your best bet is to stay two steps ahead. Once you figure out what needs to be done, incorporate what expenses go into everything and budget like your life depends on it. Knowing what amount of money goes where ensures that you do not overspend and if you do, you know how much over-budget you are.
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Plan Out Activities Where Family Size Is Not Penalized
Having a large family can mean that your expenses can get quite high. However, that is not always the case. So how do you enjoy family activities without breaking the bank? The good news is; some activities are curated for large groups. This means you will not be penalized for having extra people on board. These can include; camping, picnic at parks, hiking, places with group activities such as board games and quizzes.
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Planning meals ahead of time is a lifesaver for large family households. It not only saves you the headache of figuring out what to eat on a daily basis but it also saves you some money. With a meal plan, you can buy your meal items in bulk.
With some research and a little bit of trial and error, you can find the most affordable stores to do your bulk shopping. This also means fewer trips to the store which can save money on fuel or cab fare. You can then portion out the items and keep those you do not need right away in storage.
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Chaos can be expensive especially when running a large family unit. If you are not the kind of person who does not thrive in routine, you may need to adjust your life a little. Routines make life easier to navigate. Routines such as budget evaluation and family activity audit allow you to see how well you are doing financially and what you can do to improve the situation. Say you bought a family car to help move from one place to the other but you are not using it as much as you thought you would, you can evaluate and see if you really need it. This way you are always on top of things.
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Separate Needs from Wants
What you need vs what you want are two different things. Layout all the expenses incurred in your household in a month. Take some time to separate those expenses you can not do without and those you can. This becomes the foundation that you use to work out your budget. Ensure that you update it to reflect shifting needs and wants then adjust your budget to match it. This ensures that you are not caught off guard which even allows you to be able to take some liberties with your money without panicking.
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