Many people who create the family budget lose momentum on the first and second month, this is because they have this notion that a budget should start showing results from day one. As I said in one of my earlier articles, you treat you home as a business, and I don’t think that there is any business that starts making profit on day one, or even the first few years. So be patient with your budget, and the only way for your budget to work is knowing the secrets of the family budget as outlined in the following article by Andrew Bicknell.
With the rising cost of everyday items, today, creating a family budget plan is becoming more and more important to keep track of where your family’s money is going. Making your money work for you is the ultimate goal of any budget, but you need to be patient if you have never made a budget before. Most financial problems, both personal and family, are a result of poor budgeting skills or the failure to follow the budget that is made. This is true of people in all income ranges. If you want financial freedom you need to be able to track of your assets and liabilities, and your income and expenses.
The fact is that people of all income levels have the same struggles with money. People who earn thousands of dollars per pay check can have the same financial problems, as those who earn just a thousand dollars per pay check. The problem isn’t the amount of money one makes at their job; it’s their behavior with their money once they get that paycheck. And the financial behavior of the majority of people is very poor.
A family budget plan is nothing more than a cash flow plan. A plan for your money. We make plans for everything else, from where we are going on vacation to blueprints for houses, but we seldom make a plan for our money. And if there is no plan then your money does not know what it is supposed to do other than get spent on stuff. A good budget, once you get the hang of it which can take around three months, should take all of your family income and outgoing expenses into consideration. There should be a balance between the income and expense side of the equation. If not then it is time to start finding areas to cut back on. As you work your budget over time it should free up enough money that you can start making allowances for savings and retirement accounts.
The first step of any family budget plan is writing down on a piece of paper your total monthly income, and your total monthly expenses. When writing down your expenses be sure to include everything from your biggest payment to the smallest expense. Subtract the expenses from the income, and see if anything is left over. If not, then you can start looking at the expense column, and start cutting out unnecessary items that are costing money that could be better put to use else where. If you have money left over you need to seriously consider where this money needs to go. If you have debts such as credit cards or car payments it is wise to put some or all of this money towards paying them down. If you have no extra debts start saving and investing. Before long you’ll have a nice little nest egg built that will secure your family’s future.
If you are having trouble keeping within your family budget plan, here are four quick tips that can help you meet your goals.
- Keep a log book or ledger where you can list your income, and expenses on a daily or weekly basis. One of the hardest things for most people is keeping track of their daily money habits.
- When buying groceries make a list before you go and buy all your groceries at one time. Make sure to stick to your list, and do not buy things that are not on it.
- Don’t go to the store if you do not need to buy necessary items. Impulse buying is a budgets worst enemy.
- If you are tempted to buy something think about it before you make that purchase. For large items over $300 or so, take a day to think it over. Chances are you don’t really need whatever it is.