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EARLY YEARS: Macaroni Kid Roanoke offers family budgeting tips

Publisher Beth Bell suggests buying in bulk, consigning kids’ clothes and seeking help from financial planner
Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 6:09 AM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -With job losses and less money in many households, having a budget that works for your family is crucial.

But where do you begin?

Macaroni Kid Roanoke publisher Beth Bell recommends planning ahead, especially for those regular expenses, like groceries.

“I save a lot of money if I take advantage of ordering ahead and picking it up, which also saves us a lot of time. You know, buying in bulk is a good idea if you have the club memberships like BJs or Sam’s,” says Bell.

Write down what you spend. Bell suggest apps like Mint.

Bell says fewer trips to stores also helps eliminate some of the impulse buying.

“We’re not out and about as much. We’re trying not to take our kids into grocery stores, so they’re not grabbing the hot wheels at the checkout and things that we really don’t need.”

Teaching kids to be more responsible with money can help household finances, too.

Bell recommends using chore apps, along with other visuals like reward charts, so kids can watch their money grow. “A lot of times, kids want things that are higher ticket items like bikes. Teach them how much work do we have to do to buy that? And teach them how their time is money.”

January is also a great time to clean out the closets, and that in itself can be a big money maker for families.

“It is consignment sales season. So in March, we’ll have two big consignment sales in the area. It’s a great way to earn some money off the things your kids have outgrown,” Bell says.

Finally, if you did receive the latest stimulus payment or have been able to save a little, she suggests talking to a financial planner.

“There’s usually no cost to consult with one and they might be able to help you invest that stimulus into a life insurance policy that might be cash bearing or can at least help you plan for the future,” says Bell.

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