One of the most common requests I get from readers is how to set up a family budget that works.
So, I’m sharing with you how I create a family budget spreadsheet for us so you can create one too.
What is a Family Budget?
“A family budget allows you to manage your money. You can see where your money is coming from and where it is being spent.” Source: Sapling.com
Family finances can be a challenge to manage and it isn’t simply about paying the bills.
As well as managing the family income and paying household bills, there are also school or daycare fees, medical appointments, insurances, loans and well actually the list can seem to be endless when it comes to outgoings!
Why You Need to Create a Family Budget
Being ‘on top of your finances’ is a goal for most people but it’s something a lot of us put in the ‘too hard basket’ because we don’t know where to start.
I’m going to show you how it can be broken down and made easier by creating a family budget and tracking your monthly expenses.
When you prepare a family budget for a month in advance, you feel so much more in control – well I do!
I will add that I’m in no way qualified to give you any financial advice – this post is simply to share with you how we manage our family finances.
Setting up a family budget makes me feel so much more in control over the money coming in and going out. I feel less overwhelmed and it means I can plan for the future better.
As well as ensuring the household bills are paid, budgeting can also save you money too. You might see areas where you can cut back on the spending, or cut things out altogether.
Having a separate account for saving money will also give you that ‘rainy day’ fund for unexpected expenses.
How to Create a Household Budget
1. Work out your Income
How much income does your family generate each month?
In the income lines, add in your salaries and other income that you regularly receive, including interest and any government payments or rebates.
2. Work out your Outgoings
Make a list of all of your regular outgoings and, using receipts or your bank statement, work out how much you spend on them each month.
This list might include:
- Rent/Home Loan
- Phone/Mobile Phone
- School or Childcare Fees
- Medical Appointments
- Hair Cuts
- Gym Memberships
- Charitable Giving
As well as these categories, drill down to as much detail as you can. If you regularly splurge on takeaways or coffees, you need to add these daily expenses to your spending tracker too.
When I started doing this, I got all of the receipts I could find and bank statement for the past three months.
Then I worked out my average monthly costs for all of these things and totaled them at the end.
I was surprised at how much I was spending in some categories and it gave me some inspiration to make savings where I could.
3. Work out the Difference using your Family Budget
Now it’s time to work out what’s left of your income after you’ve subtracted your expenses.
How much do you have left over? What happens to this money each month?
Or, are you spending more than you have coming in? Can you find ways to reduce your spending and/or increase your income?
Related: 10 Home Business Ideas for Mums
4. Creating a Household Budget
Ok, we’re on to how to make a household budget for your family!
If you’re in the fortunate position to be spending much less than you have coming in, now is the time to think about saving or investing the money left over.
However, you could still be looking for ways to further decrease spending in some areas and saving even more money.
If you do want or need to save more money, now it’s time to create that Family Budget spreadsheet.
It might be a bit daunting to get started filling in a household budget planner, but do this as soon as you can.
It’s essential that the list of your expenses is as detailed as possible because you need to really know how much money you’re spending in order to get organized.
Now go through each category, adding in more if they’re not included, and allocate a monthly budget amount to each.
You’re going to use the list you created in the first step to do this, ensuring you don’t miss anything out.
The spreadsheet will calculate all totals for you. So when you’ve finished adding in all of your income and expenses for each month, you can clearly see the totals and what is left over.
Each month, revisit your family home budget to see how you are tracking.
Add in any new lines for new income streams and outgoings. You’ll feel so much more in control of your finances by staying on track of what’s coming in and going out.
I would love your comments below on how you budget for your family – and let me know if you need any more help on saving or making more money.
Happy budgeting and I hope my Excel family budget template helps you get started! Do you have any budgeting tips?
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Hope you enjoyed learning how to set up a family budget!