Family Budgeting for Beginners

Do You Have a Family Budget?

Most people, when put into the position of managing their family’s finances for the very first time find themselves struggling with the balancing of the family budget.  Attempting to run a household without a plan in place can set the scene for a financially difficult situation.  One person does not have to carry the load.  It is perfectly acceptable to ask for the assistance of your family when putting the family budget together.

Getting a Family Budget Makeover

Family Budgeting Includes Everyone

Because in all probability, money will be getting spent by several family members, it only makes sense that everyone in the family should have a full understanding of how much money is available and how much each of them can reasonably spend without putting the family into financial difficulty.  It would be wise to let every member of the family be aware of how much money there is and what limits apply to each of them.  Children obviously will have stricter limits placed on them and their spending than an adult partner would have placed on them.  This is also an opportunity to explain that everything from lights to water costs the family money.  This can lead to a discussion of the role each person in the family plays in how the family’s money gets spent.

As you start your family budgeting plan, it may be wise to set aside a predetermined amount of money that will be used as a family emergency fund.  This money could be used for a variety of reasons but you must put limits on what this money can be used for so that it does not get spent frivolously.  Some examples might be repairs needed on a major appliance or vehicle.  Tapping the family fund in this case to avoid having to use credit cards with outrageously high interest rates only make sense.Family budgeting

Another key is to take stock of how much money is being spent on a regular basis by each family member so that you can look for places to save money or cut costs.  Several family members spending even a couple of dollars per day on something like a cup of coffee or a bottle of soda pop can really add up over the span of the month.  You may want to consider giving yourself and every family member a top limit which they can spend on a daily or weekly basis.  Many times big financial difficulties can be traced to many small mistakes that are being made on a regular basis.  It may be time to take a careful look at your spending and then spend a little bit of time crunching the numbers on your family budget.  You may be surprised by what you find.

photo by: peasap
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