Brunilde Piazza October 7, 2020 Family Budget
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.
Basic Budget Worksheet. If you are having difficulty coming up with all of the various expense categories for your budget, here are a few links with sample budget templates: (Mint.com brings all your financial accounts together online or on your mobile device, automatically categorizes your transactions, lets you set budgets and helps you achieve your savings goals) (Vertex42) (Microsoft )
Putting aside all of the glossy advertising gimmicks, the flashy website "calls to action", and the animated icons; sooner or later you will have to actually use your home budgeting software. Understanding role of key elements and the philosophy of budgeting (L.T.G.`s) will help you in having a successful home budget. Remember, your budgeting spreadsheet is not so much about the crunching of numbers, as it is about the helping you to bring into reality, the dreams of your life! So, as you face the jungle of home budgeting software, keep in mind the elements necessary to making your dreams come true!
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!).
First, you must balance your checkbook. You can either use software, or pen and paper to accomplish this task. Now, if the concept of balancing a checkbook eludes you, just search the internet on how to balance your checkbook. And, as you balance your checkbook, you should pay particular attention to missed transactions, bad math, or any unexpected transactions. I remember that on one occasion I had recorded an unexpected deposit as a withdraw in my checkbook register. So, to my chagrin, my $150.00 deposit became on paper, a $300.00 withdraw.
Together with a little bit of self-control and help from a few tried and true budgeting procedures you shall be able to ensure that your household budget is rapidly brought under your own control. Not just will this make you feel much more secure financially but it will also assist you to save more money for those genuinely essential things that you may want to obtain.