Maintaining a family budget will allow any family to gain financial independence from their addictions and waste of money. Even people with good income rates sometimes face the problem of the lack of funding resources. Interestingly, the problem is associated not with the amount you earn but with the amount you spend.
Luckily, you can fix the situation by running a budget sheet.
What Will You Get?
So, it is not a question of whether you should maintain a family budget. It is more relevant to know how to do it correctly. There are a couple of great advantages of maintaining a family budget:
- Financial transparency
- Convenience when treasuring money
- Rapprochement of spouses
To make it work, you need to decide on the best-suiting budget form and methods for you and your partner.
Family Budget Forms
Before starting financial control, planning your family budget, and fixing every price from the Winn-Dixie sale paper, decide on its form. You have three options here:
- A shared budget
- A split budget
- Or a partially shared budget
It is no good or bad. Everyone chooses an option that works best for him. What’s important is to have control over the funds you earn and spend.
Family Budgeting Methods
Having decided on the model of your family budget, you need to choose a way of maintaining it. There is only one accounting principle: fixing income and expenses, planning, and making regular reports.
With proper management of a family budget, the financial analysis would be useful as well. This will allow you to identify unnecessary and unreasonable spending, choose a way to save money, and predict your profits. Sounds too complex? No worries — everything is easier than it might seem.
First, you need to decide on the home accounting tools.
You can start a special notebook and a calculator, but you can also use a computer. As an alternative solution, you can also utilize free home accounting programs or special online services. You just have to note down income and expenses, and the program will calculate everything for you.
After the first two to three months of home bookkeeping, you will understand how to calculate expenses correctly, save money, and plan savings.
How to Do Home Bookkeeping?
There is nothing difficult about managing a family budget. You have the total family income, which consists of the money earned by the two, as well as all kinds of bonuses, cash gifts, interest on deposits, and other sources of income.
However, apart from the above, you also have some expenses that can be categorized as mandatory, optional, and unplanned.
So, let’s calculate the family’s income for a month. For that, you need to summarize all the mandatory expenses: payment for utility bills, loan payments, purchases at grocery stores, etc. Then take away this amount from the income item and get the remainder. The latter needs to be planned out.
This amount should be distributed among the following main items of expenditure:
- Purchase of food
- Household purchases
- Emergency money
In general, financial specialists advise distributing family income as follows: 50% — necessary needs; 30% — optional but desirable expenses; 20% — emergency reserves or savings.
As a rule, the biggest part of your expenses is associated with the purchase of food and household items. But you can fix the situation by shopping at Sprouts and checking discounts or super deals at grocery stores online.
How to Save Your Family Budget?
Let’s start with the fact that you can start saving with the main expense item — utility bills. Of course, you cannot reduce the rent, but it is quite possible to pay less for gas and electricity.
What is more, you can also save significant amounts on food. At first glance, such an economy looks at least blasphemous. However, there is nothing bad about it.
Comparing prices for the same products in different stores, using end-of-day discounts or promotions, making bulk purchases — all these will allow you to save money without compromising the quality and quantity of your menu.
The same goes for other purchases. If your goal is to optimize your family budget, then do not hesitate to track sales and compare prices. Don’t overpay for a branded item sold in a boutique in the city center if the same thing is sold cheaper in another store. Expensive furniture or household appliances can also be purchased with discounts.
If you start to control your expenses, if you know how to properly manage your family budget, you will be able to avoid a lot of unpleasant situations associated with a lack of money.
Do not forget that the amount of money you earn should not determine your wealth; it is more about the ability to properly manage it. Take the first step — create a budget sheet and follow it strictly.