Whether after the holidays or throughout the year, do you feel that you have no control over your finances? If you answered yes, it’s a safe bet that you do not have a budget. Take this opportunity to discover how to create a family budget.
There’s a beginning for How to create a family budget.
Before you start your budget, you need to do this very simple exercise: for a month, keep your bills, receipts and write down all your expenses in a notebook. Do not forget anything. Whenever you pay something, write it down. Even the morning coffee!
- Since this is a family budget, it is essential that your spouse do the same.
- There is a beginning to everything: you may forget to note some cash outflows.
- If necessary, continue the exercise for another month, to get the right picture of your expenses.
Then go to the three essential steps that constitute a budget.
Step 1: Your monthly income
Add the amounts of all family income you get for a month: wages, child benefits, tips, rental income, alimony, etc.
Step 2: Your monthly expenses
It’s time to take out your notebook of expenses, your bills, and your receipts. All your expenses must be listed.
- There are two types of expenses: fixed expenses (house, transportation, insurance, loans, etc.) and variable expenses (groceries, clothing, leisure, etc.). This latter category includes unnecessary expenses such as lotteries or the famous morning coffee.
Step 3: Balance your income and expenses
Add up all your fixed expenses and subtract this amount from the amount of income. The remaining amount is the one for which you can make a budget (variable expenses).
- Start by subtracting what is essential (the grocery store, for example), then end up with the lesser (the lottery, for example).
- In an ideal world, you would end up with a surplus of money that you could transfer into a savings tool.
A little discipline is needed
In theory, for the budget to be balanced, your income must be greater than your expenses. In practice, it may take some effort.
- If your expenses are higher than your income, then you will have to reduce the amount you give to certain types of expenses, or even eliminate them.
- One thing is certain, if your expenses exceed your income, you get into trouble. Hence the importance of being diligent and disciplined when it comes to making a family budget.
Ask the experts for help
If you have difficulty understanding how to create a family budget or if you can not balance your income with your expenses, get help from a financial institution expert.
There are solutions to restore all situations, even yours. Come on, smile: you have just taken the first step towards a promising future!