Family | Personal Budget Planning Title

Family or Personal Budget Planning

Have you ever periodically wondered, "where did all my money go?" If you are like me and most other people, you probably have. Developing a family or personal budget plan will help you find out where your money went and help you control where it goes.

But before you jump into the nitty gritty of plugging numbers into a family or personal budget worksheet, you need to always keep one key thing in mind:

Creating and following a family budget is similar to a diet.

You have to find the discipline to actually follow the plan. And if you fall off track one or two days, get back on track. A budget plan is trying to allocate your unlimited wants and needs in a world that has limited resources (your income!). That is the key.

Step 1 - Setting goals

You and your family need to sit down and decide what financial goals you want down the road in 1, 2, 5, 10 years. A family budget is truly a roadmap of how you want to allocate your income in the future. Are you trying to save for the future? Pay down your credit card debt? If you determine that you need to save more, make this a part of your monthly budget. You will be amazed at how a little saved and invested every month can grow over time.

Step 2 - Analyze Your Past

Don't worry, you are not required to lie down at the psychiatrist for this! You now need to pull together 1 or 2 months, preferably 3 months of bank statements so you can determine what you spent your money on. Categorize these totals into broad categories. Not too broad and not to narrow. For example, you want a category called "groceries", not "steak" or "diapers".

Step 3 - Create Your Budget

Now you can get into the nitty gritty of creating your household or personal budget! Download my budget worksheet or create your own. The key here is to analyze your expenses on a monthly basis over the course of a year. A budget is not as simple as "one month does not fit all". The reason is, you have some expenditures that are quarterly or semi-annual, such as car insurance, life insurance. Don't forget about birthdays, the holidays, or that wedding you know you occur in three months! Be honest with yourself and the family budget you create will work for you!

Step 4 - Adjust your family budget

Fine tune your household budget AND your expenditures as you follow the plan over the coming months.

Was your family budget realistic? Are there expenditures that you did not anticipate? Are you actually following your household budget? Again, be truthful with yourself! Above all, don't give up!

You will find that the satisfaction of actually following your family budget and achieving your goals to be much greater than ordering out for lunch instead of brown bagging it!

Here are some money saving tips to reach your family budget goals. Good luck, I know you can do it!

Picture - household budgeting


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