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HomeMoney and RelationshipsThe family budget

The family budget


In today’s world, it is more important than ever to conserve our resources.  This is especially true when it comes to money.  In order to provide for your family properly, you must plan your spending and budget appropriately.  However, you cannot simply sit down on your own and complete the entire budget for the family.  You should involve your family members to some extent in order to help them understand financial planning, as well as to get everyone’s cooperation in following the budget.

The extent to which you will involve your family members is dependent upon their age.  If your children are very young, it may be best to involve them in only a few areas of budget creation.  Planning what can be spent on entertainment and groceries is a great area to involve young children.  You can utilize both the budgeting process, as well as the spending process, as learning experiences for the younger children.  For older children, it is important to teach them about other expenses.  By involving them in the process of planning for utility payments, they are learning valuable lessons about the costs of living and are more likely to be frugal with their own money.

If you prefer to keep your income between the adults in the home only, this does not create a problem.  You can easily figure your income separately from the actual budget and still involve the children.  When figuring your income, it is important to take into account all sources of income for complete accuracy.  Once this is done, computing the total deductions comes next.  Many individuals find this difficult due to the wide variance in their monthly spending in the past.  However, a budget can help you identify and eliminate this, sometimes wasteful, miscellaneous spending.  Simply begin with your regular monthly bills, followed by categories for other expenses.  Include all necessities, such as groceries, clothing, transportation and toiletries.  Then, include miscellaneous and a savings categories.

It is important to record actual expenses in order to have a functional budget.  This includes what those miscellaneous expenses were and whether they are necessary.  Within a few months, you will have a working budget that meets your needs, as well as those of your family, and eliminates needless purchases.  This will provide a sense of security in your financial well-being, while also being an excellent teaching tool for your children.

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