There are many programs out there that can help you begin budgeting your money and allocating expenses. Having a family budget is important for keeping your income and expenses organized. You need to know where you money is going every month. Writing everything down and keeping track of your income and spending can be an eye opening experience.
Those who have children can especially benefit from creating a monthly budget. It’s expensive to support a family, and it’s very easy to accrue debt when you don’t know for sure where your money goes. Even a dual income family can have trouble making ends meet and end up living paycheck to paycheck. Let’s take a look at some ways to budget and save in order to allow your family to live a comfortable lifestyle while keeping out of debt.
First, make a list of all your income sources. Be sure to include things like interest and dividends paid to you by your bank, as well as other sources like social security or child support. Next, list all of your monthly bills like mortgage, electricity, cable, water, Internet, credit card payments, etc. Make separate columns for your estimated monthly expenditure in each category, and then leave blanks for recording your actual payments.
Once you see how much you spend on actual bills each month, then you can allocate certain amounts for things such as groceries, incidentals, and personal allowances for yourself or your children. You will also want to allot a monthly amount to put into savings accounts. Saving is an important part of budgeting. You never know when a monetary emergency will arise. It’s also smart to start savings accounts for your children for college funds, or even a retirement fund for yourself.
There are ways to reduce certain monthly expenses as well. For example, you can save on your electric bill by turning off lights during the daytime or when no one is in the room. Keep your air conditioning and heating set at a reasonable level. Turn TVs and gaming consoles off when not in use. You can often reduce cable, Internet, and phone bills by combining them into a package offered by your local provider.
Lastly, make sure that you are living within your means. Save up for big purchases instead of giving in to instant gratification. Following your monthly budget will help you stay out of debt while living a comfortable life.