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A Living Budget for Everyone
A family budget is a specific type of financial budget that accounts for the expenses that occur as a result of living with more than one person in the home and being financially responsible for all the expenses incurred by them. A family can include children, a spouse or other family member. A family budget works best when all family members are involved and committed to making it work for the benefit of everyone.
Budgeting money is considered a financially responsible move for families that want to not only save money, but have some left over to spend. It’s easy to lose track of money, especially when it is being spent in a wide variety of ways. Making a budget not only allows families to see where the money is going, but what is really left over. A budget will also serve as a guideline for prioritizing expenditures.
Make a Budget for Each Person, Pets Too
When making a family budget, consider going beyond the typical itemization practices and break rather, breaking down expenditures on a per-family-member basis. It may be that more money is spent buying new clothes for children or on vet bills or sports participation fees than should be. Taking a look at expenses on a per-person basis will allow families to look at the monthly statements and see where money is going and if there are ways to cut down on expenses, such as waiting to buy clothes until they are needed or not stopping for fast food when out for the day.
Pets are a family expense as well, from injuries, to checkups and medications to food. Taking a look at what money is spent on maintaining pets may help families see that certain expenses can be removed or cut back. For example, asking a friend to watch a pet while the family is way can help cut down on the cost of renting a kennel.
School tuition and other education-related expenses, including gas, may also be able to be cut down by carpooling or asking the school if they give a discount for the greater number students sent by one family, which many private schools do.
A budget should be maintained monthly and adjusted accordingly by receipts and bills. This way, it is easier to see what monies are being saved or if the budget is working and if any adjustments need to be made.
Let Children Help
Involving children in a family budget is a good way to help them understand where money is going and how much could be saved and applied to other areas, such a Christmas or a vacation. One way to involve children in family budgets is to allow them to choose one or two things they would like to save up for and then having them help make choices about what they can cut back on in their budgets, whether it be allowance expenses to trips to McDonald’s. Children that are old enough to understand simple concepts about money can benefit from learning financial responsibility and awareness by being included in the family budgeting process.