How to Coordinate Family Expenses

Spend Money on a Math Tutor, Not a Video Game

If you're lucky, your fixed and discretionary expenses add up to less than your income. If you're not so lucky, you'll need to cut some discretionary costs from your budget. And that means thinking about the value of what you're buying for your kids. Rather than giving them frivolous toys, spend money on things that will enrich your children's life experience. For example, choose violin lessons over premium television channels and educational toys over the latest electronic gadget.

And make sure you put away savings. Most financial experts recommend that you have a reserve in the bank equivalent to six months of your gross salary, in case one or both parents were to lose their jobs. It's also important to set savings goals for other things like retirement, vacations, college tuition or a larger home for your growing family.