Budgeting for the family is like taking on another full time accounting job. You need to ensure cash flows in and out of the family is well managed. One easy way to do this is to check how much is allocated on every monthly expenses you have.

This is the hard part where some thought and effort will have to go into the process to ensure the most accurate information is recorded. This will give a realistic and real-time estimate that is reliable and accurate.

You need to ask yourself how much each item on your list actually costs how much each item costs you a month.

The following estimates and guidelines could prove helpful to you as you set up your family budget:

Monthly bills that stay the same – car and rental payments

Monthly bills that change – utilities, phones and more. Find costs per month for say six months, add them up. Take this number you have calculated and divide it by six (the amount of months) to get your average cost. This is the number you will be using for your budgetary exercise.

Bills that come every three or six months – the number for every month will be used in your budgetary process.  Bills that come annually, meaning once a year – divide the amount by 12 months. The answer is your monthly budget number.

Bills that come more than once a month – food, gas, lunch and family fun. This is a category to watch very closely, as it is a contributor to this “bottomless pit”, we sometimes feel and see our cash disappear into.

Unexpected expenditures or surprise bills – what you can afford to set aside as a buffer or emergency, contingency fund – (look at the last three years or so and see what kind of unexpected expenses you and your family faced). Use an estimate that makes sense to you and divide the annual number by twelve months to get your monthly number.

Taking into account those things will help you setup your monthly budget more easily.

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