Lockdown Learning – Managing family finances better

If one thing that we have learnt during this pandemic is that life is uncertain and things can happen in a way that we have never imagined.The past few months have been nothing less than a roller-coaster ride and that have made a few changes to my way of life. I am sharing those in this series of Lock down Learning posts so if you are one like me, you could try as well.

My husband and I have always been terrible at handling money or finance in general. Since when I started my career and became financially independent, my father has been nudging to keep track of the finances but I have failed miserably. I thought I would do better atleast after having a family but that didn’t happen too. BUT, this COVID-19 has made me do it.

Like many of you, we have been taking things for granted. Things started hitting when the people around us started losing jobs of the pandemic, friends whom we know decided to move back to India for good as they weren’t able to cope up with the financial issues. Job insecurities weren’t a real scene like it is now. That’s when we told ourselves that we better do the math, big time.

To start with, we looked for an app that tracks expenses because we know writing down on a notepad or maintaining an excel spreadsheet is never going to happen in this household. After trying a couple of them, we found Spendee app that worked for us. We make sure to make it a practice to enter every expense right from groceries, diapers, fuel expenses for our car,house rent, toys and every single item that we paid for. We still forget to track a few bills, but we are doing MUCH better than what we were a few months ago.

And during these past few months, we have been buying only the essentials and no other shopping of clothes, accessories or eating out. I am sure it should be case with most of us. So tracking the expenses during the past few months gave us a clear idea of what it takes to run the house. The app gives you an overview of your expenses on different categories which helps you decide better the next time when you plan to buy something. And most of all, you would definitely be surprised how good you could save!

We have become conscious enough not to include those extra items that we pick from the racks of the supermarket, just for the cute packaging or buy an ingredient and then look for recipes to try. We have taken care to see what is available in the pantry and cook accordingly, use them up completely before buying the next time. Basically, take a pause before adding anything to the cart.

As an avid Instagram user, I have been reading posts from the two women who talk finances. Though it is not practically possible to follow everything you read, but every penny that you spend better does matter!

Pennmoney – The blog where Lavanya Mohan writes about finances and especially how women could handle finances and investments.

CentsibleIndian – As the caption of her blog goes, she writes about intentional finance and intentional living.

Look forward for the next posts on this series. Have a great weekend, everyone!

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