Geraldina Buccho October 15, 2020 Family Budget
The budgeting process is designed to be flexible; and you should have an expectation that a budget will change from month to month, and will require ongoing monthly review. Expense overruns in one category of a budget should in the next month be accounted for or prevented. For example, if you or your family spends $50 more than planned on groceries, next month`s budget should reflect a$50 increase and decreases of $50 in other parts of their budget.
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.
Tips for Budgeting Success. Once you have taken the time to create a budget its time to follow it. You can have the best of intentions of following a budget, but after a few weeks or months you drift away from your plan. Do not let that happen to you. Here are a few basic tips that will ensure your budget is a success.
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 )
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.
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.