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How to Coordinate Family Expenses

Groceries are a fixed expense in your family's budget.
Groceries are a fixed expense in your family's budget.

Putting together a budget is pretty easy if you're single, your only dependent is a cat and you're willing to eat nothing but grilled cheese for 20 days straight to save up for your only major expense for the year -- a trip to Key West.

But when you're responsible for a unit of people that includes children, budgeting becomes much more complicated. Sure, putting the kids on an all cheese and bread diet for two weeks out of the month might help you save for their college educations. But it won't do much good for their health (or their dispositions). And anyways, how are you going to budget for other needs -- like ballet lessons, karate and Popsicles? And should you really be drinking that morning latte if it's costing your kid her piano lessons?

Face up to your spending habits on the next page.


TLC Life Essentials: Family Savings and Budgets