Setting up a budget for only one person can seem a little daunting at the best of times, so when a whole family needs to put a budget together, it can seem like quite the task.
Budgets are great for keeping track of spending, savings, incomings and outgoings, bills, and pretty much anything with a financial side. They help keep finances in check and enable you to plan for the future, which is why a family budget is a great idea.
This piece will discuss some top tips on setting up a family budget.
Create a Budget List
The first thing to do when setting up a budget is to create a budget list. List out all of the incomings and expenditures of the entire family and be as thorough as possible. To make it simpler, create a list for each family member and list the bills separately to see exactly what goes out for everyone individually.
Examples of items to include for the children’s lists could be:
- Phone bill
- Extracurricular activities such as classes
- School trips
- Lunch money
- Travel fayre
Plan Out Meals for Budgeting
Food can be a very large expenditure when it comes to finances, especially with more than one mouth to feed! So, planning out meals can really help take the pressure off, and also make the most of the food that is bought and the money that is being spent. Planning out meals can keep costs down because there is a focus when going to the store, and less temptation to pick other things off the shelves if there isn’t a plan to follow. It is also a great way to avoid food waste, and in turn, to not waste money!
Set Financial Goals When Budgeting
Setting financial goals when budgeting will give you something to aim for, such as saving for something special, or something important such as a future home. It’s easier to keep focused on goals when they are set out and can reassure that those milestones are achievable.
Examples of these milestones could be:
- Saving X amount of money
- Spending below the budget this month
- Opening a savings account
Plan for Financial Emergencies on a Budget
When planning a family budget, it is best to anticipate financial emergencies as some are bound to happen from time to time. There is no need to list out what it might be used for; just simply budget to put aside a certain amount of money every month to go towards an emergency fund. For those times where the financial relief needs to be immediate, a service such as LoanPig can offer a quick boost of cash under 24 hours. Just make sure to budget paying a loan back!
Trimming Costs When on a Budget
An important aspect of budgeting is to be honest about what is really needed. Once there is a budget list in place, it can be easy to spot the costs that can be trimmed down or substituted for a lower-cost option.
When items are laid out, it is easier to see what can be lived without and what hasn’t been used for a while, such as old subscriptions!