Morgana Genovesi October 9, 2020 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.
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!).
So how exactly does one create a budget? There are many ways, but the best, fastest, and easiest way to make a budget is to buy a good family budget software program. A large number of families fail to make a budget simply because they feel that the concept of budgeting is too hard, however, this could be further from the truth with good software.
That is it - you have now created a rudimentary budget. If you are in the negative you know you have got a problem. If you are in the positive, you are either doing really well or you have forgotten something. Keep working on your master list until you are comfortable with it. Checking your budget against your online or paper bank statement can be very helpful in finding things you have forgotten.
A great exercise to start of your financial budget project is to ask each member of the family to make a list of ten relevant points (for example) regarding their financial needs, expectations, goals and visions. Add a second part to that list that shows their usual expenses. When everyone is finished with his or her individual list - discuss each point of each list together. Identify which items that are normally purchased during the course of the month - that can be eliminated without hardship, in order to save extra money from the monthly income. By doing this together, your family is participating and can see their contributions will help to make the family finances better.
Setting up your financial budget as a joint venture for the whole family can be a fulfilling and satisfying experience. If you have not had success with managing your finances in the past, then setting up a budget will put your economic situation into perspective and serve several purposes all at once, helping you to make cuts in the spending habits that went un-noticed previously. Getting your specified budget down on paper can be boring at first - but once you master the art, you may find that you will enjoy the challenge and rewards of sticking to your budget.
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