Tanya Worthy December 2, 2019 Family Budget
A budget needs to estimate your average (yearly) income. Spending, which will be relatively constant, needs to be maintained below that amount. A budget should allow for error and so keeping expenses 5% or 10% below the estimated income is a conservative approach. When done correctly, your budget should end any given year with about 5% of their income left over. Of course being conservative and having more than 5% is never a bad idea.
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.
Using family templates or family sheets they should continually monitor the budget so that they are not spending more than they plan to. Where they find some item(s) in the budget are going up more than expected, like family bills, they should adjust expenses on other items that they could reduce or forgo. Having the family planner is good but having the discipline to follow it is best for families.
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.
Once your checkbook is balanced, you should take a moment to look at the wealth of information contained therein. What? What is this wealth of information you are talking about? Try looking at your checkbook as a snap shot of your spending habits over time. By looking at what you purchase, where you go to purchase it, and how frequently you travel there to purchase it; it will soon be clear to your brain that all of those little trips to the store sure do add up! Look at all the gas you are using, and the wear and tear you are putting on your vehicle. Since you are spending the money already, you might as well purchase the items once a week and not on an everyday basis. Likewise, since you already know the items that you purchase on a daily basis, you might consider buying them in bulk (only if bulk means costing less!).
Precautions need to be taken for budgeting on an irregular income. Budgets with irregular income should keep two things in mind: spending more than your average income, and running out of money even when your income is on average.
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