Sticking to a Budget: How to Monitor and Maintain the Daily Expenses of Your Family
There is no question that most of us live incredibly hectic lives with work and family commitments filling up our diary on a daily basis, which makes it hard to find the time to sit down and sort out your finances.
If you are thinking of upgrading your car to something like a Chrysler 200 for example, do you really know how much you can afford to pay monthly on finance or how much you are spending in total each month?
Monitoring your daily and monthly spending so that you know exactly how much you spend on food, household bills and gas, will definitely help you to greater control of your finances, which is why a family budget is something you need to make time for in your busy schedule.
You can’t do one without the other
You can’t realistically create a budget for your monthly expenditure without at first knowing exactly where every dollar is going each month.
It might not take that long to put together a list of all of the major costs you face each month, such as mortgage or rental payments, followed by utility bills and other regular expenditure like loan repayments and credit card bills.
You would not be alone if you tend to take a bit of a guess at what you can afford to spare for discretionary spending, which will mean that unless you have an accurate household budget to work from, you could easily end up spending more than you can afford, or wasting some money unnecessarily.
Keep receipts for all of your spending for the month so that you can see exactly how much you are spending on regular coffee’s and snacks for examples, which are the sort of small numbers that many of tend to disregard when calculating our spending, but are just the sort of costs that can easily tip the balance with your budget.
Setting some goals
The purpose of creating a family budget is not just to see a complete picture of where all of your money is going each month, but also to be able to set some realistic financial targets and goals.
If you want to set up a college fund in the longer term or want to save for a family holiday, a budget will help you to work out where you can make some savings to be able to achieve these goals and also reveal how much you can truly afford to put aside each month towards your savings goals.
Greater financial confidence
Creating and running a monthly household budget will instill you with a greater degree of confidence in terms of being in control of your money and being able to make sound financial decisions such as taking out a car loan, knowing that your finances can cope.
Make sure that you review your budget each month to see what progress is being made and to identify any areas of overspending.
Having the figures in front of you and seeing what you are spending on things like insurance and cable TV, will prompt you to review these deals and see if you can improve on them by switching to a different provider in order to save money.
Creating and then sticking to a family budget, is always something that is worth making time for in your hectic life.
Richard Kees has control of the family spending, but doesn’t want that to sound like he’s a scrooge! As a family of 6 it’s important to have a handle on the incoming and outgoing finances to balance the budget!