Kimberly Steinhoff December 9, 2019 Family Budget
Budgeting does not need to be complicated. You do not need a master`s in accounting. You do not even need a computer. Pen and paper will do. A good family budget performs the following functions: - Keeps your checking account in the positive - Helps you get out of debt - Helps you save money for the future - Helps you spend your money on what is most important to your family There is not much else to it. As long as your family budget meets the above criteria, you have accomplished a lot.
An un-attended checkbook can cause your budget spreadsheet to reflect money that you may not have. It will give others un-monitored access to your checkbook. There is no happy end to an un-attended checkbook. If you do not understand your spending habits, and control your financial picture by the means of a home budget or budget spreadsheet. Soon, very soon, your money will be needlessly in someone else`s bank account!
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!).
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.
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.
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.