Family Budgeting 101
“Budgeting is definitely not a happy, feel-good, fun word. However, most of us struggle to be happy, feel good or have fun without one! Budgeting done right can save a lot of time, money and stress. Follow the steps below to create and maintain a workable budget for your family and your needs”- Pam Keller
Today our resident Personal Organizer and Life Coach, Pam Keller, from Simplify with Pam, is going to give us her easy-peasy steps for creating and maintaining a family budget that will help you save money and stress less! Make sure to drop by her Facebook page and “like” her for more tips and tricks for an organized and simplified life.
Use the “Monthly Budget” below as a template to create your own unique budget, adding or subtracting your own expenses, income and line items.
- Spend your first month writing down where all of the money goes, and then divide those expenses into your own unique categories (similar to the list below in the example). Many little expenses will fall under miscellaneous.
- Plug in the numbers into this budget template, adding and subtracting as necessary so that the total equals your income.
- Try to anticipate any and all expenses that come up, or your “miscellaneous” will be out of control and tracking will be minimal.
- Note upcoming expenses that will need to either be plugged into a particular month or budgeted over several months in order to afford.
- Create line items that anticipate expenses that occur randomly but consistently; i.e., birthday/Christmas (build up a nest for all of these “gift” occasions), car maintenance (so you’re ready when it happens), etc.
- Take this opportunity to be disciplined about spending, tithing, and saving. This is your chance to use your talents and resources and to be a good steward.
At month’s end:
Use your online info or checkbook ledger (however you record) each month to record/track all monies spent.
- Add up how much was spent in each category to see if your budget numbers are accurate (i.e., add up gas receipts to see if they equal your line item in the budget).
- Tweak any line items that are expendable, over-inflated or under-budgeted.
- Reconcile the final numbers to see if your actual spending equaled your budgeted spending.
- Copy & paste the budget into a new one for the next month with new & more accurate numbers.
Tips on saving, tithing and spending.
- If income increases, determine to try to use as little of that as possible for day-to-day expenses. Try to save it or increase your tithe. Don’t live without a margin for error. Don’t spend what you make—live on a well-disciplined budget and practice good stewardship.
- Shoot for a nest egg of 6 months living expenses (not salary) in a savings account.This is what most budget plans suggest.Then if a catastrophe hits, you’re prepared and can handle it.
- Practice increasing your tithe. Tithe generously, cheerfully, obediently, willingly, and carefully.
- Enjoy the freedom that comes with careful spending!
MONTHLY BUDGET TEMPLATE
Car payment 200
Credit card 200
Florida Power and Light 200
Car insurance 200
Verizon Wireless and FIOS 300
Tithing: (10% = $600/mth)
Other (variable based on income) 100
Bayside Community Church 400
Pets (food, hay, doctor, medicine) 50
School expenses 50
Groceries & toiletries 1000
TOTAL EXPENSES: $6,000
Also check out Pam’s -> De-clutter Your Mind: Tackling the To-Do List & $$$$$ 4 Simple Ways To Save Cash $$$$$