(For Women)
Written by: Theophilus Izobofolo – 

The day to day challenges of taking care of a family is tasking and managing the home finances is more tasking and frustrating.
Below are 15 ways to create and manage a budget according to your income and family size. It will enable you provide your daily and monthly needs to satisfy your household short and long term demands.
1. Take expenses Inventory: Take inventory of your household capital projects, basic needs, necessary wants and recurrent expenditures. Create expense categories like; school fees, rent, mortgage, utilities, entertainment, transportation, repairs and maintenance, groceries etc.
2. Set priority list on the inventory: Set a priority list to know the important needs or wants for the family. All expenses shouldn’t be incurred same time, so as to avoid bankruptcy.
3. Set a Realistic Budget. As a woman you can set your households budgets as daily, weekly or monthly terms; according to the family income. Yes, sometimes preparing a budget can be tricky and tiring, but do your best to tag price to every item and manage the little money in your hands.
4. Understand the difference between fake and original: Most women who don’t pay attention to details are always cheated in the market, they only look at the face value or appealing nature of an item; they will first buy the fake and later go and buy the original. Don’t waste money on fake or expired items, be vigilant. When you know the fake you will buy the original and spend less.
5. Fix a time to incur capital expenses: important household needs like; food, cloths, cleaning items and other needful comes regularly. But fix a time in a month, quarterly, bi-annually or annually to spend on major expenses like; school fees, mortgage, rent etc.
6. Go to groceries with a list: track your spending habits with a list when you go for shopping, human wants are insatiable and most women has cultivated the habit of buying what they don’t need and eventually give them out as gift or abuse the items.
7. Record current prices: when you come back from shopping, record current prices in your budget file or book and compare to determine future budgets. Most prices are not fixed they rise and fall.
8. Pay utilities with online payment methods: When making payments for utilities like; Electricity, LAWMA, Internet subscription etc., use online payment methods to avoid lost or robbery and additional transportation to and from unit centers. Asides possibility of lost of theft, it helps to manage time and prevent you from buying substandard items.
9. Plan budget Management with household members:   managing household, planning budget and enforcing it alone as a woman will be very difficult or even impossible. Call for a family meeting to explain the budgets or change in the budgets and how you plan to enforce the budget in the home. In the meeting constitute laws like; prohibit general wastage, limit or restrict members from eating expensively outside the home, switch off the electricity meter when absent from home or sleeping at night, determine when to host a visitor, mend damaged cloths as opposed to buying new once, have a first Aid box at home for emergencies etc., with this and many more you will cut down on your household expenses and increase savings.
10. Plan strategies to Increase Savings: Cultivate the ideas to save. like; patronizing a particular store or customers that do cut down prices on your items. Sell all the items you don’t need in the house as scraps. Buy some household utensils online and on time when the shopping center is very far away from you. Cultivate a strong negotiating skill during purchases except for supermarket where prices are fixed.
11. Don’t buy on credit: Whatever you can’t buy now must wait for the next budget. Don’t buy on credit but manage your resources within the time of scarcity or little. Always make preparation for option B’s in your budget to avoid public disgrace when asking for credit purchase. In worst case scenario short down secondary needs or wants (expenses), to attend to your primary demands or at worst bear the period of lack. Nothing remains the same forever except change and God.
12. Don’t borrow to satisfy wants: Many women have cultivated or are possessed with the “SPEND ALL HABIT.” Some have the glutton habit, lust for fashion and parties (entertainment), at the detriment of their homes. When some don’t get what they want from their husband, workplace or friends, they begin to compromise their loyalty and faithfulness to their home and spend the money for the household on themselves. No woman has completely satisfied their wants on earth, so don’t borrow for temporal satisfaction and later spend the money for the household to pay the debt. Cut down on general consumption.
13. Make provision for contingencies: The first two purposes for holding money are precautionary and speculative. Asides the precautionary motives you have made provisions for in the weekly, monthly or quarterly budget, always make provision for unseen possible and impossible contingencies for expenses like; healthcare, security, etc.
14. Cultivate a futuristic plan for your household: The third motive for holding money is transactional. As a woman plan with your husband and household members (children) to save for investment purpose. The future responsibilities are bigger than the present. The only source of income will not last forever.
15. Prayerfully handle your household plans: Anything done in isolation of divine backup, may work but do not gain perfection. As a woman ensure to plan your household management with God.
If you can put into practice all of these tips to manage your household finances, double your savings and create an investment, then you will be a good home manager.
For further counseling and coaching contact:

Theophilus Izobofolo on 07068056521 or www.izobofolo.com.ng