Family Finances

Column Day. This week I get into managing money as a family. As you can probably imagine, raising a family of six isn’t cheap. But I share a few tips we’ve picked up on saving money and sticking to a budget.

Once again, my wife deserves a lot of the credit in this area. Mostly I just make money and she figures out where it goes. She has spreadsheets. For everything.

One easy way to save that I mention in my column is simply cutting out cable TV. Coincidentally enough, a fellow Herald columnist wrote yesterday about his family’s first year of cable-free living. He saved more than $100 a month by dropping cable. Over a year, that’s like an extra mortgage payment.

We’ve never had cable. We watch a few TV shows online, and sometimes we borrow seasons of shows from the library. It means being slightly behind the times — we’ve only recently discovered that Modern Family is hilarious — but we save a fortune.

The other thing I think is important when it comes to money is to give some away. It’s easy to look at the bills and think you don’t have enough, but I always try to keep perspective that we have more than the overwhelming majority of people in the world, and more than a lot of other North Americans as well.

Being generous is more a state of living than a condition based on what’s in your wallet. And I think it’s actually good for us. Money has less power over us if we don’t hold onto it so tightly.

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One response to “Family Finances

  1. Hi Chad! It’s Jenn Greer. Steve and I read your column each Monday and it seems like you are writing directly to us! Ben is 2 1/2 and Josh is 3 months old and we are potty training, dealing with financial changes and, well, we just love your column. Thanks for making us feel normal. Have a great weekend and we look forward to Monday’s paper!
    Cheers,
    Jenn and Steve Greer

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