Kimberly Steinhoff October 11, 2020 Family Budget
Be open and honest about the family`s financial dilemma and discuss your expectations, goals and visions for the near and distant future. If your children are old enough to understand the concept of money, they can be of great constructive help and will also learn from this exercise. When each family member is involved in the budget project - particularly teens, it saves a great deal of energy when having to make excuses to them of why they ca not buy this or have that. Informing them of what is going on will help to avoid future arguments and any counterproductive actions on their part that could end up making the situation worse.
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.
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.
Q: What if I make my budget, and the expenses are way above my current income? A: First, it is good that you made it, because you now realize you have a problem. Secondly, you will want to decide whether there are expenses you can eliminate. For instance, if the entertainment section is $20 a week, can you cut it back to $10? What other categories can you reduce? Finally, you may need to work more hours or get a second job to make ends meet.
During the family discussion take notes - this is an important discussion and your notes will help to develop your joint family budget. It is important that family members collectively do their part in both understanding the financial situation your family is experiencing as well as understanding that the family as a whole is better equipped to find the solution when working together in the same direction.
Your budget spreadsheet or home budget software should have a user-friendly interface. It should be flexibly and easy to understand in its operation. You should not need a degree in programming in order to use or understand it. Likewise, its working environment should be designed with you, the consumer in mind. You should not have to struggle to navigate from one section of your home budget to another. The screen`s layout should be easy to understand. Some programmers believe that more is better; and so to that end they have fatten up ever screen with excessive graphics and/or text that contains little or no useful information. Your home budget software will become an integrate part of the lives of your family. The using of it should not stress you out! If you want stress... have children!