Wendy Hodge December 8, 2019 Family Budget
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.
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.
Sitting at your favorite restaurant hand-in-hand with your special someone with a steady stream of culinary delights wafting by, lights down low, and the occasional whispering of what might be violin music from somewhere in the establishment. What was to be the beginning of a night to remember in one sense of the word is now, instantly transformed into a night you would more likely want to forget by the look of distain engraved, as if on granite, worn by the face of your returning waitress; your credit card did not go through!
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.
Like I said previously, starting out a budget plan for your family will be quite challenging at first. For one, you will to start changing your shopping habits, as there will already be limitations to your allowance. Also, you will have the responsibility to take note of every single penny that you use, for your budget plan will be accurate. However, if you have the tools to help you, it will be not be that hard. Plus, you will eventually reap the benefits of budgeting in the long run. So while it is not yet too late, acquire your family a budget spreadsheet and kick off your budget planning.
Your home budget software should aid you in the reaching your short and long term goals in life. If it does not, than you should not be using it. Likewise, your home budget software should provide you with useful information about your future projected bank balances. Elements that contain Information such as daily bank balances, your lowest weekly bank balance, and bank balance trends over time (charts). If you are going to budget out your expenses, then those projected expenses will (over time) affect your bank balance. These elements are paramount to any successful home budget.