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Financial Strategies For Coping With Tough Times -- Part 2

Author : Blended Families

Submitted : 2008-10-21 00:00:00    Word Count : 510    Popularity:   17

Tags:   blended families, dual households, finances, financial advice, economics, credit, debt, bills, stress, health, relationships, budget, coping, income, employment, job loss, parents, children, stepfamilies, stepparent, economy, spending

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As discussed in the previous article, blended families, along with all families, will sooner or later feel the negative impact of the Wall Street meltdown. Many blended families are feeling the personal anguish of financial strain, helplessness and generalized stress as the repercussions ramifications ripple through our economy.

Again, were not in a position to offer a bailout plan for our blended families, but here we offer some additional strategies to help you take action and feel more in control of your future as this economic crisis plays itself out.

3. Enlist your children in saving family money. As the greening of the environment came alive with the involvement of children, so can children be actively involved in reducing the family budget to help you feel more in control during this economic predicament. Let them know what is occurring without unduly scaring them and invent strategies to make your family financially proactive.

* Encourage children to look for alternatives to using the family car, such as walk to a friends house or bicycle to soccer practice.

* Cook and dine at home more often and take lunch to school. Many families on a strict budget say that the most surprising expense was eating out and take-out meals that cost them an additional $500 a month. There are numerous benefits to cooking and eating at home as well as saving precious dollars in todays uncertain economy.

* Encourage children to recycle clothing and buy store brands over the much more costly designer labels.

* Combine errands, car-pooling and trips to conserve gas. Make outings a treat rather than the norm.

* Encourage children to come up with new and unique ways to save money.

4. Be insistent about eliminating unnecessary spending from your budget. Make it a game to see how much you can save. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

* Eliminate the I-phone, look into competitive cell phone plans and make sure you arent wasting money on extra minutes charges or fancy ring tones.

*Take lunch to work.

* Review the cable TV or satellite TV bill because you may have a plan with a lot of waste. Check out FREE movies from the library.

* Cancel subscriptions to magazines you dont read or stuff you dont use.

* Buy children's clothing and holiday gifts out of season and on sale.

* Car pool or use public transportation, if available.

* Review homeowners and health insurance plans and make sure youre getting the most economical deal.

* Mow your own lawn and have the children help rake up the leaves. Do your own house repairs and maintenance.

* Check out store brands and shoppers coupons.

* Pay down credit card debt and make it a rule to buy only what you can afford. Wait and save to avoid credit card debt.

* Save to take care of property taxes, holiday gift spending, vacations, and unforeseen expenses.

These are tough times and the most effective way to feel some sense of control is to take action with your own family. Think outside the box, engage the entire family and be proactive in your own home.

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Sheena Berg, a step parenting coach, writes for the FREE StepHeroes step parenting newsletter. Your heart been burned by your stepfamily? Read about our low-cost heart-burn relief: blended family coaching)

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