Disclosure: This is a collaborative post
Are you struggling to keep up with family expenses? If so, don’t worry! Budgeting is an effective family management tool that will help you stay on top of your family income and expenses. What’s more? It is not necessary for families to be rich or have a large amount of disposable income in order to budget successfully.
For families with debt, it is even more important to keep on top of the family budget and to have well-managed finances. Setting a reasonable budget means you can keep up with repayments however, keep in mind, there are solutions available such as Debt Arrangement Schemes to help families that are struggling.
Here are some family budgeting tips to help you plan your family expenses:
1. Be honest about family income
One of the first things to do when budgeting as a family is to take a good look at what the family income really is. Start by writing down all sources of income and how much each brings in per month. This can include a monthly wage, salary, savings and allowances.
Make sure to list all outgoing expenses, including fixed costs such as the mortgage or rent, bills, food shopping, transport costs, healthcare & education.
You must ensure that your family expenses do not exceed your family income. If that is the case you must find ways in which you can lower family spending in order to budget better.
2. Set family budget categories
A useful tip when family budgeting is to set up family budget categories. For example, in the ‘Food’ category include shopping for food and household items such as washing powder etc.
3. Write down fixed family budget categories
What are fixed family budget categories? Fixed family budget categories refer to basic living costs that do not change, such as rent or mortgage payments, heating & electricity bills etc. All family members should contribute to these family budget categories to ensure nothing is missed.
4. What is discretionary family budget categories?
Discretionary family budget categories refer to family expenses that can change depending on your family income and family spending. These family expenses include the things we tend to spend more on such as; entertainment, dining out, shopping etc. If family income goes down, discretionary budget categories should be the first looked at when it comes to deciding where to cut expenses.
5. Be aware of family spending traps
Family spending traps include things such as impulse buying and family members who tend to collect items that are unnecessary. When family budgeting, it is best to avoid these traps by planning family expenditure ahead. One handy tip, in order to avoid impulse buying, is to not shop when hungry.
6. Monthly Family Budgeting
When family budgeting it is best to make family budget a monthly thing. By family budgeting monthly, your family will be able to save more money. A useful tip is for family members to put aside money each month for savings and allowances. This can be done by setting up a shared family account that everyone can contribute to.
7. Look for family income opportunities
Look for more income opportunities. These opportunities can include everything from selling items you no longer use to finding a part time job on weeknights and weekends.
8. Track family budgeting progress
Keep family budgeting records in order to track family spending, family income and family allowance. For example, allowance can be recorded each month using a allowance box or money box. In order to track expenses, it might be best to set up a shared family expenses spreadsheet, this means everything going out and everything coming in can be accurately tracked.
9. Have regular family meetings
When assessing the family budget, it is best to have budgeting meetings each month. However, the budgeting meeting, doesn’t have to be boring and can be an opportunity for family members to spend time together, play games and simply have a good time.
10. Family budgeting doesn’t have to be boring
Keep family budgeting exciting by looking for activities that cost little money and/or are free. Examples include bike riding, barbeques and family walks in the park.
It is important to actively manage family finances in order to manage family spending well. By following these tips on family budgeting, family will be sure to have a better family financial future.