Steps to Establishing a Budget
1. How your money is spent;
2. Where your money is spent;
3. Why your money is spent.
What you may wish to concentrate on are weekly, monthly, and annual expenses. Based on these expenses, then you’ll need to determine how to budget your money according to your family’s present and future financial obligations and requirements. Basically, you might want to budget your money in such as way as to meet up with the family’s needs, save money, and avoid long-term debt. Your family’s “needs” should include only those items that are daily necessities and shouldn’t include non-essential items at this point.
While non-essential items can be significant, they should not be part of your family’s initial budget. Frivolous spending is the archenemy of the family budget and is among the first areas of spending your family must get under control immediately. Spending money on non-essential items can have harmful impacts on the family’s financial future. When the budget is firmly established you will be able to determine if any extra monies remain after bills are paid and money was put into savings. In case you have money left over at the end of the week, month, or year, then you and your family can decide how this money will be spent. If you’ve built a satisfactory savings account, have avoided debt, and have met all of your financial obligations, then taking the family shopping for non-essential items might be in order.
Expenses to Include in Your Family’s Budget
If you need help determining what essential and non-essential things are when you first start to create your family’s budget, you may want to begin with bills that you know you must pay on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis. These types of expenses are expected costs and may include such things as having a Raccoon in Attic:
• Mortgage or rent payments
• Credit card payments
• Council Tax
• Utilities (i.e. electricity and water)
• Loans (personal, student, etc)
• Healthcare/Dental maintenance
• Transportation (fuel, repairs, etc)
• Miscellaneous household associated expenses (repairs, maintenance, other household goods)
These are expenses with which you’ll be comfortable and have come to expect on a regular basis. You typically know when these bills are due as well as the required minimum payment on these bills. When you’ve made certain that all your financial obligations are met, you can then decide how much “extra” cash you’ve left over. It is usually sensible to place some of this money into some kind of savings account. The amount you save every week, month, or year and the type of savings into which the money is placed will depend on your family’s financial targets. If additional money remains after money was put into savings, then that money may be used for non-essential things like fun, leisure, and entertainment.
Tools for Budgeting and Managing Family Finances
Creating and establishing a funding can be complicated and challenging, especially for those that have difficulty with organization, routine, and identifying their family’s priorities. If you have tried to set a family budget in the past without success then try, try again. The internet has a wealth of information regarding budget planning. There are lots of online tools available to assist you while you are planning your family’s budget. Budgeting tools that are available via the internet include:
• Downloadable budget planners
• Online budget planners
• Savings planners
• Printable manuals for managing money
In addition, there are financial counsellors available at various institutions and organizations who are experts in their area that could assist you and your family with savings and budget plans. You should always bear in mind that you are not alone in this process and that help is available if you need it.
Budgeting Shouldn’t Be All Work and No Play
Despite the fact that it’s important to meet your financial obligations first and foremost (i.e. bills), it is still important for your family to put aside money to have fun together. There are ways that you could spend less on essential everyday items, like groceries, to be able to free up money for pleasure, leisure, and entertainment. Using coupons or buying store-brand products are an outstanding way to save money on groceries. Re-evaluating your mobile phone program or bundling tv, internet, and phone services can help save your family money. Making certain unused appliances are unplugged and setting your home’s thermostat a few degrees warmer or cooler can help save on energy bills.
Lowering the money you spend on essentials provides your family with the money you need for vacation, going out for pizza on Friday, or buying board games that everyone can enjoy. While spending family time together doesn’t necessarily have to cost money, splurging on family fun every once in a while can be fun and supply you with an opportunity to show your family how important they are to you.
There is a parenting community available with a wide assortment of helpful resources to aid in the day to day decision making as parents, including parenting articles, a discussion forum, local activities for the family to enjoy and recipe sharing.