Kimberly Steinhoff December 9, 2019 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.
Using family templates or family sheets they should continually monitor the budget so that they are not spending more than they plan to. Where they find some item(s) in the budget are going up more than expected, like family bills, they should adjust expenses on other items that they could reduce or forgo. Having the family planner is good but having the discipline to follow it is best for families.
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.
All in all, it is not hard to see why you need to buy family budget software whether you are just starting a family or already have children. Navigating the financial waters while raising children can be one of the most treacherous exercises that one can take. Indeed, it also has implications of the highest importance - too many wrong decisions can place your family in a very precarious monetary position. Putting all of your income and expenses in a software application will let you take a good, hard look at how to optimize the use of your money so that you will have enough to pay for the future expenses, such as college tuition.
How do you create an effective family budget? First of all, avoid convoluted software programs that want you to devote an entire weekend to categorizing, analyzing, and so on for the sake of creating the perfect budget. Perfectionism, when it comes to budgeting, is a huge waste of time. Reality has a funny way of sometimes not giving a damn about what you have gotten written down in your budget. So, relax and just give it your best shot.
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!).