Tips on Family Money Management
Planning a family budget is not that different from planning a budget for a single person. The only real difference is that you are doing it for more than one person. Even the government has what they call the “basic family budget.” What they determine as the basic family budget then becomes vital to the cost of living and the federal poverty guidelines. When tests have been run on various types of families in various places, the conclusions were that over fourteen million people live below the basic family budget threshold. By creating a monthly family budget planner, families can keep track of where they fall in the range.
A person’s family is their life. It is their livelihood. The undue stress that can come from financial hardships can put a strain on your family. It can be hard to determine if you can afford childcare to get a second job, or if you can put food on the table for the month. But if you are a budgets household, then you can sit down and sort it out together as a whole. You can plan your housing, your car payments, your insurance, and any other necessities together as a family, giving everyone the satisfaction of knowing they are secure.
Building a family budgeting template is an easy task. Whether you are using one off the internet or creating your own, you will be glad you have done it. We are going to walk you through some nice and simple steps on creating your own family household budget here!
To start, you should take note of any large financial goals your family might achieve. This might be a vacation, new car, new furniture, or anything that is not part of your regular monthly expenses. Then, you want to take note of your family’s income as a whole. This includes paychecks and any steady income from other sources. The income portion of your worksheet will be your large guideline for the rest of your budget.
Then, you can start to add in your expenses, and other outgoing money flows. Some typical expenses are rent and mortgage, gas for your car, auto and health insurance, phone or internet bills, and even down to the things that seem small like paying for Spotify or Disney+. These smaller expenses can all be bundled into larger categories, so it does not become overwhelming- for example, a category strictly for entertainment encompasses things like music or TV subscriptions, movies, and the like. By listing your projected or average expenses, you are giving yourself a guideline of sorts. You also want to make a note of the due dates of any bills, so that you do not make any late payments. If you truly want to, you can also include an area to mark off once you have paid these bills.
And that is it. It is really quite simple to build your own budget template. There are companies that can help if you really need, though, whether it is because your expenses are more than your income or if you have a debt to include, and you need help sorting it out. Companies like DebtQuest USA are here to help.
Family Budget Tips
- There are several tips and tricks you can use to make the budget-making experience even smoother. You want to be sure to include your whole family in going over the budget expenses, so it can be wise to set aside a day each month to have a family budget meeting. You can each share what expenses or income you will have to formulate a cumulative family budget.
- You also want to make sure that your family money management is as accurate as possible. It helps to take a three-month average of your spending habits, as well as looking back to the previous years’ spending at the same time. This eliminates unease with bills that are ever-changing, like electricity or water.
- When you are sitting down for your family budget meeting, your goal should be budgeting to zero. What this means is taking your cumulative income and making sure the money out encompasses all the income, bringing your total at the end of the month to zero dollars.
- As a family, you need to decide what expenses are the most important. Those important expenses like rent and utilities need to be a priority on your budget and on your spending habits. You can’t leave something like that unpaid while paying for splurges and unnecessary items.
- Take note of the time of year. There are certain months where you need to budget things differently, and that is ok. Make sure that you pay attention to things like birthdays and Christmas, or big family dinners you have that are going to cost more in that month.
- Include your goals in your budget. If you know you want to have a family vacation during the year, be sure and include setting money aside for it in your zero-dollar budget. Then if your buffer money does not end up getting spent, you can also toss that into your goal fund, giving you more than you might realize.
Managing Your Family Money Wisely
Almost everyone has been in this spot: you suddenly have more money than you expected. You can afford that quick purchase you have been wanting. Your wallet says yes! Go and get it! You need to be sure to take a step back. Do not go and blow all your money at once. I cannot stress this enough. You need to manage your family money wisely. By taking time to really think, you can set money aside in savings. You can be prepared in case of an emergency.
This does not mean that you can’t splurge here and there; you just need to be wise with it. Pay down your debt. It will save you money in the long run. Make sure you also pay for your big purchases in one lump sum rather than falling into the payment plan trap. You end up spending more money-making payments in the long run.
You can watch your spending as another way of wisely managing your money. Make cutbacks where you can. Meal planning can help save on your grocery budget. Instead of spending extravagantly, you can find out that you can save more than you ever thought! If you can find a way to make money on the side, you also are increasing your budget. There are so many ways a person can find that little bit extra that they never realized they had in their family budgets.
The Personal Impact and Benefit
Budgeting for your family gives you many benefits. It gives you control over your finances. You know what you have, what you need, and what you can spend. It helps keep you focused on your goals. Budgeting keeps you from spending your money on random items on the spur of the moment, thus making you more secure. Budgeting keeps you aware. Sometimes without a budget, you can look at your bank account and ask yourself where all your money went. Having a budget means you know exactly where your money is going.
You work for your money, and now it is time to let your money work for your family. Let your budget be your early warning system with your finances. Let it point out any spending problems your family might have. This is not to say that you will look at it and just know you are great or give you ammunition to point out another person’s flaws. What it really means is that you, as a family, can address the changes you all need to make to work together and bring yourself security.
Budgeting is for everyone. Do not let the idea deter you. It can help anyone from any financial situation- it can be applied to anyone who has limited money or financial goals. Or, to anyone who wants to plan for vacations or plan for retirement. You do have to be willing to make the changes and make the effort needed to maintain your family budget, though, or it will not work for you. It is still a process, and without putting in any effort, you can’t expect to yield results. For the best results, let DebtQuest USA help guide you as you guide your family to the financial security that you need! Your family is important to you, which makes them important to us.