One of the most common pieces of personal finance advice is to “build a budget.” However, according to a Gallup poll, approximately two-thirds of households do not keep a precise budget.
Accurate, some families never get started. On the other hand, others give up after repeatedly breaking their budgets. You’ve come to the perfect site if you’ve ever wondered how to make a family budget that works!
We’ll show you how to create a family budget that meets your needs in just a few steps. Then we’ll go over how to make sure you stay on track with your budget. Thanks to several budgeting software, the procedure is now easier than ever. If you discover that you need to make some adjustments? We can also assist you with that!
Let’s get started.
In ten easy steps, you can create a family budget.
Budgeting is a fundamental concept: make a spending plan for your money. However, building your budget incorrectly might result in lost effort and frustration.
Here are the steps to creating a family budget in less time than you think!
Step 1: Determine Your Family’s Purpose
Budget is a nasty word for many people. Why? Budgets might feel limiting and constricting. If your family’s budget feels like financial torment, you likely overlooked the most crucial phase of budgeting: determining you’re why.
You want to identify your goals as a family. What do you intend to accomplish with your budget? Saving for your children’s college money or purchasing a new family automobile are examples of long-term aspirations. You can also check your CIBIL score easily. Short-term goals can include saving enough money to take a much-needed family vacation or having a debt-free Christmas.
Decide on a family objective or goals and write them down. All family members will buy in if you choose your plan jointly. Furthermore, having a visual reminder of your dreams can help you stay motivated.
Over the next few months of budgeting, make sure you revisit these objectives frequently. You’ll be able to see how your budget is assisting you in achieving your goals.
Step 2: Determine Your Earnings
Do you have any idea how much money you earn? It may seem like a stupid question, but many families rely on estimates and hunches rather than complex data. As a result, the next stage in creating your family budget is to figure out your income.
Add up all of your monthly wages. You might also wish to consider side hustle earnings.
Of course, if your income fluctuates, this becomes more difficult. It would help if you dealt with your lowest rather than highest figures in that situation. That way, you’ll always be able to cover the expenses in your budget. If you have a high-income month, you’ll have extra money to save or put toward debt repayment.
Step 3: Examine Your Expenses
It’s time to look at your expenses after calculating your income. Costs, like income, can catch some families off guard.
You may look at your credit card, debit card, and bank account activities to estimate your spending for the past few months. Add up your expenses, including spending from all of your accounts if you have more than one.
It’s worth mentioning that this math doesn’t always account for financial outlays. Nonetheless, your calculations should yield a reasonable estimate.
You might also commit to tracking your expenditures for the next month to receive a more detailed picture of your expenses. Don’t try to save costs by judging your spending. Instead, try to get a complete and accurate picture of your existing spending. You can do this manually or with the help of an app.
Step 4: Create a Budget
It’s time to create a family budget once you have a rough estimate of your income and a general expense figure.
You must first comprehend budget categories to establish a family budget effectively. Naturally, no two budgets are alike. Still, the 50/30/20 guideline is an excellent place to start when budgeting. Check how old do you have to get a debit card.
Your budget can be divided into three categories using this rule:
- Housing and groceries account for 50 percent of your budget.
- Wants account for 30% of your budget, including pleasure money and sinking funds.
- Savings: Your savings account for 20% of your budget, including investing for retirement and saving for short and long-term goals.
- Consider the 50/30/20 guideline, and then list the several categories that best suit your family’s requirements, wants, and savings goals.
Some budget categories to consider are:
- Cell phone
- Student loans
- Dining out
This list is, of course, incomplete. The trick is to look at your wants and needs and your financial objective. Build your budget categories and amounts around your family’s unique needs.
It’s time to use a budgeting tool to construct an accurate budget after you have a broad idea of your budget categories. This may indicate that Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets are for certain families.
You can also use an app like Firstly to help you budget. The most significant advantages of utilizing an app are the time savings and, in the case of Firstly, it is developed with families in mind.
When you start with a budget, you’ll have to do some guesswork and double-check. However, using an app helps you to profit from the experience of those who have budgeted before you. If starting from scratch seems daunting, consider using a budgeting tool.
Step 5: Keep Track Your Spending
When it comes to creating a family budget, one of the most common mistakes people make is doing it at the beginning of the month.
Then disregard it. Instead, track your spending throughout the month and take an active, aware attitude to your budget.
Budgeting tools may often take care of this for you. In other cases, families choose to manage their expenses manually, utilize cash envelopes, use capabilities built into debit or credit cards to monitor spending, or use a separate spending tracker app.
Whatever option you choose, you must keep track of your finances throughout the month. This will save you a lot of money at the end of the month!
Step 6: Evaluate Your Month
You’re not free until you’ve created a family budget. Instead, you should assess your budget every month. You’ll probably need to set aside some time the first few times you do this.
We can almost hear you grumbling.
Budget meetings don’t have to be a chore. Make it enjoyable! With wine and canapés, some couples discuss their family finances. You can tie it into pizza and game night to make it a real family affair.
Comparing your actual spending to your budget is the most crucial step. Because most of the data is compiled for you, budgeting applications can save you time!
The reflection process should be identical regardless of keeping track of your budget and spending. How close did you come to sticking to your budget? It would also help remind yourself and your family about your financial objectives. It’s a great motivator to have that why in mind.
Step 7: Re-evaluate your financial situation
It’s time to recalculate for the next month after comparing your actual spending to your budget. Consider altering the amount of money you set aside for them–or reining in your expenditures in the future–if there were areas that were a vast budget bust.
You can probably utilize the same budget from month to month once you’ve found out how to make a family budget and made your initial modifications. However, it would help if you considered creating a new budget whenever a significant life event is approaching.
Step 8: Rejoice in Your Victories
Now comes the fun part: the parties!
Families frequently make the mistake of just celebrating after reaching their long-term financial objectives. We recommend enjoying your journey rather than focusing just on the destination. This can also help partners or children who are less excited about a budget buy-in.
So, what are some things to rejoice over? Everything is worth celebrating, from creating a budget for the first time to staying on track with a prior month’s issue.
Of course, don’t allow your festivities to ruin your finances. Pizza night, family game night, touring new parks, impromptu dance parties, or even a bit of screen time are inexpensive ways to treat your family. For extra income, you can also check the best online teaching platforms.
Final Thoughts on Creating a Family Budget
Are you ready to create a budget that works for your family for the first time? Setting up a financial framework that suits your family’s goals can be as easy as following these basic steps.
If you’re serious about streamlining your family budget, download Firstly to see how the software designed specifically for family finances will help you achieve your financial objectives.