Having a family is very challenging when it comes to budgeting. It’s like taking another full-time accounting job. Ensuring cash flows in and out of the family should be well-managed. With this, you can avoid finding yourself in a pile of debt when an emergency arises.
So, one easy way to do this is to check and monitor how much is allocated to every monthly expense you have. This will give you a realistic and real-time estimate that is reliable and accurate.
- How much does each item on your list actually cost you per month?
- Do I need or want this item?
Of course, this will matter a lot when you’re budgeting.
Figuring this out can save you a lot of money.
The following estimates and guidelines could be helpful to keep family budgeting as simple as possible:
- Monthly bills that stay the same
These include car payment(s), house payment(s), and others.
- Monthly bills that change
These are utility bills like your electricity and water services, phone bill, and more. Find costs per month for say six months, and add them up. Take this number you have calculated and divide it by six (the number of months) to get your average cost. This is the number you will be using for your budgetary exercise.
- Bills that come every three or six months
Take the total amount of the bill and divide it by the number of months that the bill comes due. For example, if a bill is due every 6 months divide by 6. Bills that come annually, meaning once a year – divide the amount by 12 months. The answer is your monthly budget number.
- Bills that come more than once a month
Groceries, gas, lunch, and family fun. This is a category to watch very closely, as it is a contributor to this “bottomless pit”, we sometimes feel and see our cash disappear into.
- Unexpected expenditures or emergency bills
What you can afford to set aside as a buffer or emergency, contingency fund – (look at the last three years or so and see what kind of unexpected expenses you and your family faced). Use an estimate that makes sense to you and divide the annual number by twelve months to get your monthly number.
Taking into account these things will help you in your budgeting task more easily. By doing this, you can determine where your money can be available for certain needs and luxuries. But of course, having a budget will not instantly make all your financial problems go away, but this is definitely the best starting point to help you to begin to control your expenses as well as manage your income.
So, start building your budget today so that you can enjoy the benefits of having done so for years to come!