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Most young families face financial difficulties from time to time. And usually, these difficulties arise because of improper planning of the family budget. If you manage resources properly, such problems can be avoided.
Home finance management isn’t easy. After all, you need to consider the needs of all family members. That’s why there may be some disagreements. However, when planning your family budget, you and your loved one boost financial discipline and learn to control your funds better and use money much more efficiently. As a result, your family’s financial condition improves significantly.
How to plan a family budget
It’s best if both partners are involved in the process. If this duty lies only on the shoulders of one of the spouses, the second one must trust him.
Analyze your income
The first step towards planning the family budget is the analysis of your previous incomes and expenses. Pick the period of the last 3-4 months. This is necessary to get a complete picture of the current financial situation in the family. Therefore, spend the next 3-4 months carefully noting all your incomes and expenses. Then, analyze the numbers and begin optimizing your budget. It’s better to plan it for the next month. This is convenient because we usually receive paychecks once a month.
First, you need to take incomes from all sources of the family budget into account. This includes salary, social assistance, money from additional earnings, payments on deposits, and other income.
Then plan the expenses. They should be divided into three categories: family expenses, husband's personal expenses, and wife's personal expenses. After that, you can separately plan each of the categories, optimizing the expenses according to their importance and urgency.
Before you begin spending the money, you should allocate the available funds for repayment of debts and loans, if you have any. Then, leave something for savings. And only after this, you can take care of the current needs of the family. This includes such items as utility bills, food, transportation, and medicines. And don’t forget about unforeseen expenses if suddenly someone gets sick or your laptop breaks down.
Follow the plan
After you have a complete plan, it’s necessary to stick to it and regularly record and calculate daily incomes and expenses. You can use a little notebook for this. Write down all the items of expenses and store checks in it. But this method isn’t very convenient. Sometimes you have to turn a few pages to find the record you need.
Maintaining a family budget is easier in Excel. Here, you can automate the calculations. There are also specialized apps for managing the family budget. There are even whole online services that help you keep the budget afloat.
After you analyze your incomes and expenses for this month, make a plan for the next one, taking all previous mistakes into account. But even when your financial situation begins to improve, in no case should you stop. Good results can be achieved only when you plan the budget permanently.