Happy New Year! Looks like what’s top on everyone’s new year goal list is to be financially independent so this post will help you both as an individual and as a family.

First thing I want you to know is; everybody and family have their own unique way of managing things and situation including finances. However, there are some tips that are commonly used to stay focused when spending and I will share with you tips that have helped my family stay out of debts over time with the hope that it helps you in your daily spending.

Mind you, this is for every family, regardless of how much you make monthly (either so much or not so much) bearing in mind that every family member needs will be accommodated.

Also, I will keep all posts as short and concise as possible in order not to bore you. Enjoy!

IDENTIFY NEEDS FROM WANTS: there are some things you need to get through the month, these are essential items either for members of the family or the house in general like food, fueling the car, paying the bills and the likes. You should get the gist by now and then we have the wants, like getting a new cloth, wristwatch, toy, changing your phone and the list goes on. To stay focused financially, you need to tell yourself that needs come first and wants can come later when there’s a surplus.

MAKE A LIST: write out a list of every family member’s needs and wants. This will guide you and make you stay focused in your spending as well as remember what everyone’s needs are.

PRIORITIZE: take time to check out what’s really important, which should come first on your list and which last. Which of you needs should top the list and which can stay. When all has been sorted out and can be afforded, pick one or two things from everyone’s want list. Stay focused, priority comes first.

SHOP CHEAP: yes, shop cheap. It’s really tempting to walk into a store and conveniently buy groceries but if you do it in the wrong store you might blame yourself. Compare shops, I personally have sampled three great supermarkets here in Ibadan (Grandex, Feedwell and Foodco) and I like the three for all different reasons (post for another day), I also shop at the local markets well and this help me to compare prices and save more. Therefore, take your time to know where you can shop for less in order to save money.

GO CASHLESS: most of us do not like the idea of cashless policy, ATM disappointment, service problem and the likes but they are all blessings in disguise. This is my saying “keep your ATM card in your pocket and your money in the bank” that way you are not tempted to buy unnecessary things that are not in your list. It keeps you focused, disciplined and penny wise. “Go cashless, get disciplined”

SET GOALS FOR FAMILY SAVINGS: this is where you get reward of your money for your money. Open a family savings account, dedicate it to a particular family long term goal like new family car, family vacation and the likes then save up for it from your monthly income/salary/allowance. By that you’d cut from your income to save for something the whole family can look forward to.

I hope this helps you and your family in some way and please do let me know what you think by dropping your comments.