Anne Sanborn September 9, 2020 Family Budget
Q: What if I make my budget, and the expenses are way above my current income? A: First, it is good that you made it, because you now realize you have a problem. Secondly, you will want to decide whether there are expenses you can eliminate. For instance, if the entertainment section is $20 a week, can you cut it back to $10? What other categories can you reduce? Finally, you may need to work more hours or get a second job to make ends meet.
A budget spreadsheet is just like the typical spreadsheet that we see when we use various computer programs such as Microsoft Excel. However, this specific type is particularly designed to be used for financial budgeting. Most people can make their very own spreadsheet, especially if they do not really need further features. All they would need is a computer program, such as the Excel, that could help them. But for most households and families that are planning to get optimum financial planning, then they should download for their spreadsheet software.
Q: Is making a budget hard? A: No! It is not. In fact, all you need to do is go to Google and type in "budget worksheet", and there are numerous free resources available to help you in the process. There are also software products available. Microsoft office actually has free downloadable budget templates. Every suggested category is included, so you can customize it to your liking, print it out, and get to work.
An un-attended checkbook can cause your budget spreadsheet to reflect money that you may not have. It will give others un-monitored access to your checkbook. There is no happy end to an un-attended checkbook. If you do not understand your spending habits, and control your financial picture by the means of a home budget or budget spreadsheet. Soon, very soon, your money will be needlessly in someone else`s bank account!
List your income, how much and when during the month that you receive it. Then, list your recurring expenses - how much, to whom and when during the month that you pay them. Next, ballpark any other expenses you can come up with off the top of your head - things like groceries, gas, etc. and list those too. All of these steps can be done with just you and your spouse, a pad of paper and a pen or pencil. If you want to get a little fancy, a spreadsheet or simple budgeting software can help a lot.
To avoid running out of money because expenses occur before the money actually arrives a "safety cushion" of excess cash (to cover those months when actual income is below estimations) should be implemented. There is no easy way to develop a safety cushion, so you will have to spend less you earn. Developing a cushion can be a challenging particularly when starting during a low spot in your earning cycle, although this is how most budgets begin. In general, personal and family budgets that start out with expenses that are 5% or 10% below your average income and should slowly develop a cushion of savings that can be accessed when earnings are below average. Whether this rate of building your cushion cushion is fast enough depends upon on how variable your income is, and whether the budgeting process starts at a high or low point during the earnings cycles.