Budgeting is for everyone. Whether you’re a working mom or a stay at home mom, budgeting helps you have control of your finances. When you budget, it is easy to control your spending, pay off debt, and save money.
Without knowing how much money goes in and out of your bank account, it is hard to keep track of your finances and plan ahead. However, when you learn how to create a monthly family budget, you have more financial stability and you can find ways to stay out of debt.
Make A Budget Worksheet
The first thing you have to do is to create a budget worksheet. You can use Excel or any other free spreadsheet program, the classic pen and paper, or download a pre-made budgeting worksheet.
The worksheet will help you stay on top of everything. Not only that but, when everything is organized and written down, you can relax and not stress about the finances.
List Your Income
The most important part of your worksheet is your income. Make sure you list all reliable income sources. Whether it’s your and/or your partner’s job wage, child support, alimony, or any other reliable source of income, write it down. I
f sometimes you make money out of hobbies or smaller jobs, don’t include that income in your budget. You want your monthly budget to include only reliable sources of income. The rest is a bonus you can either keep in a savings account, invest, or use the money to treat yourself.
If you are a freelancer or entrepreneur and your income is fluctuating from month to month, you can estimate your income and budget every month or use an average monthly income as a guide.
Add up Your Expenses
The next step is to calculate your fixed monthly expenses, such as rent or mortgage, taxes, and bills when possible. You should also include your groceries here. Take a look at your groceries spending for the past few months and calculate the average. Check bank and credit card statements to review your previous transactions.
You should gather all the members of the family around the table and ask them to write down their monthly needs and wants. As for expenses that don’t occur every month, you can include them in your monthly budget since this will make it easier to pay them when they are due.
Adjust Your Expenses
If your net income (what you’re left with after paying the bills, groceries, and other necessities) is negative, it means your monthly spending budget is bigger than what you can currently afford. This is something you should correct. It’s not always possible to do it immediately but it’s something to keep in mind and try to correct as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may end up having toborrow money or rely on your credit card.
If you want to adjust your spending budget immediately, take a look at hobbies, entertainment, and other habits you can easily modify, such as eating out. Variable expenses are easier to adjust than fixed ones. But even fixed ones can be adjusted. For example, you can cut the cable if you rarely watch TV. Or cancel your gym membership and start working out from home if possible.
The key is to create a monthly family budget is to be organized, keep an open mind, and be willing to make changes.