Planning a Family Budget for Every Day and Not Just the Rainy Days
By Don Spanish
One of the aspects of family life that people rarely enjoy dealing with is to set a family budget. It can be an arduous task filled with disagreement. One family member might see entertainment as a fundamental part of the budget, while another views it as a luxury that isn't needed. Finding a common middle ground and sticking to it will guarantee financial success.
A budget is essentially a summary of lists of intended expenses and expected incomes. The aim is to strike a balance between income and expenses. Setting up a family budget can be different from one family to another based on their specific needs. While one family might feel content to save a certain percentage of their income to buy a car another would be satisfied with the idea of keeping their older vehicle and dedicating those funds to an annual family vacation. And not all family budgets are set in place by the family while sitting at their kitchen table. Some family budgets are designed by experienced financial planners and agents. But the intention is always the same, planning for present expenses and also preparing for the unexpected.
When you set out to set a family budget it's imperative that you consider all of the financial needs and goals of each individual and also the family as a collective whole. Therefore it's important to include the cost of items such as:
Children's college funds.
Saving for a new home or home improvements.
Saving for the unforeseeable, such as car repairs or loss of employment.
Every conceivable expense needs to be calculated as you work through the process to set a family budget. Naturally the adults will have the last say as they are generally the ones contributing the income to the running and maintenance of the household. Children's needs have to be addressed as well, including the possibility of having to purchase items such as prescription eyeglasses or braces. If you don't have a medical insurance plan to help supplement the cost of these items, they can take a fairly good bite out of your budget.
There are professional financial planners who are highly experienced in working with people to set a family budget. They generally do charge for their services and if you are trying to save money they can be viewed as either an investment or perhaps just an expense if you feel you can handle the process on your own. Another alternative might be to research any workshops in your area that are designed to help when it comes time to set a family budget. These can be either low-cost or no-cost and the information is extremely valuable.
Going through the motions to set a family budget can save you a substantial amount of money over time. No one likes to fall short in the financial department and not be able to provide for their family. With a reasonable budget in place, money worries can be a thing of the past, it just takes some planning and dedication.
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