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Family Budget Checklist


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Family Budget Checklist The concept of budget planning and tracking allows families to be more sustainable and less dependable on external funds because they can efficiently plan expenses and cut spending. The following Family Budget Checklist gives a series of tips that can help your family to save more and spend rationally.

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  1. Benefits.
    • Planning of your budget activity allows preventing overspending at various levels.
    • Proper budget allocation and expense planning allow you to take into account your unexpected needs for additional funds.
    • Developing a budget outline helps you maintain your standard of living.
    • Following tips to rationally save money and get higher quality of your family’s life.
    • Your family will avoid debts because you can plan your budget tightly.
  2. Budget Planning.
    • Discuss the concept of family finance planning with the entire family. First of all, you should talk to your family members and discuss the idea of developing a budget. The best way to do so is to hold a meeting at which you will tell your children about the value of a dollar and openly discuss your budget project with the rest family members. Such a meeting will significantly help the entire family to work together and solve money concerns.
    • Calculate your family’s monthly income. At this step of your budget planning, you should count all possible sources of income earnings that are available to your family. Consider including incomes from paychecks of all family members and interests from any investment on a monthly basis. Then create a spreadsheet that will include all the family’s sources of income. You can use MS Excel software to create Excel templates and spreadsheets.
    • Calculate Your Family Expenses. Now it is time to find out how many dollars your family spends each month at the average. For this purpose it is recommended to use calculator software that allows creating lists of expenses and developing an expense chart. First of all, list out expenses that cover basic necessities (such as mortgage, insurance, vehicle expenses, transportation costs, food, cleaning supplies, education costs etc.). Then include entertainment costs. Use software to develop your expense chat which is based on all the family’s expenses.
    • Develop and Follow a Calendar. It is highly important to let your family members spend available funds considering the time constraint. You should teach your family to spend when it is appropriate. For example, at end of each month it is not recommended to spend considerably even if you have a surplus in your family budget. Instead, let your family purchase high-priced merchandise at the beginning of the next month. Thus, you can create a calendar and tell your family about deadlines for spending (when it is denied or allowed to spend).
  3. Budget Tracking.
    • Compare Monthly Income Against the Expense Chart. At this step of your budget management, you need to track the budget to have either a surplus or deficit for the total income amount. If you get your budget at a surplus, your family can spend or invest more next month. If the budget arrives at a deficit, this situation means that this month your family has overspent, so you will have to cut more costs next month to get a reasonable and positive budget.
    • Balance the Budget. While tracking your budget, it is necessary to balance spending and income. The main idea of budget balancing is to reasonably cut spending for each item. For instance, if your family tends to eat at restaurants frequently, consider eating at home. Utility costs can be reduced by turning off home appliances that are useless at a given moment. At supermarkets there are often special discounts and you can benefit from purchasing more discounted goods instead of high-priced merchandise. You should teach your family to make cuts when it is reasonably possible.  Then you will be able to re-balance the budget and get extra money that can be turned into savings or emergency fund.
    • Take Advantage of Investing Saved Family Budget. Once you have tracked and re-balanced your budget, you get more money saved. This situation is a great opportunity to invest the savings in some family "projects", such as summer holidays, vacation, education, house renovation, new furniture, etc.

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