It’s a difficult time for families right now .According to NPR, nearly 4 in 10 Americans are feeling the pinch of shrinking household budgets, and families that bring in under $50,000 per year are being the most impacted, with most stating they would reduce spending. As such, it’s time for families to look at their budgets once again and undertake a frank review – especially those families who receive social security, which is in itself subject to constraints. Indeed, looking at social security entitlement and ensuring that the family is receiving their full entitlement is an important first step.
Cuts on the way
Social security itself is under pressure. According to CNN, current schemes are likely to be left in situ, which will result in a 20% cut in what is received within a decade. As such, it is absolutely crucial that families are flexible as to their assessment of their own needs and that they continue to pursue changes to their entitlement where necessary. The social security claim process can be traumatic, as it requires an analysis of the family finances and will, often, require a day in court when it comes to certain niche benefits. Preparing for this is essential, and may have to be done without legal advice – though there are plenty of schemes available to provide that assistance. Being well organized, and having the evidence ready to back up your claim, is key.
Tightening the household budget
Social security in place, it’s necessary to look at how tightening the household budget can free up a little bit of financial freedom. The tips of multi-millionaires are often shared by news agencies but can be a little esoteric in the matter of managing a family household, and so while instructive, there are more practical steps to take. Most key is managing grocery budgets better – this is the biggest and most important chunk of your household budget and, according to Living On The Cheap, is a great place to find value – whether through budget stores and reduced price shelves, or through the likes of misshapen vegetables which are absolutely fine for consumption, but are often at
Change on the horizon?
It’s also important to plan for potential shifts in prices, or changes in how support is provided by the government. Progress has been slow, but there is nevertheless support on the way for impoverished families to find what they need. As CNBC highlights, increased tax credit payment rates are being pushed by the federal administration who are seeking to seriously bridge the current gap in affordability for families. This, alongside community schemes, should help to better balance the family budget.
Frugality is key, however. Being smart with purchases, looking for thrifty options, and keeping grocery and utilities spending to a minimum is practical and sets up good habits. Then, when the financial situation is easier, families will be in a good place to keep going.