Sylvia Brown December 2, 2019 Family Budget
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!).
Checkbook registers come in many sizes, shapes, and colors; yet, for all of their physical diversities, their only function is to provide information about your bank account. And since you are basing your lifestyle on the amount of funds in your bank account; it would behoove you to have an accurate account. Remember, you are the first line of defense against potential problems that can arise from having misinformation. Of course, you can be like our friend above who waited and had his card returned, deflated and useless only then to realize that there is a serious problem.
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.
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.