Creating a Household Budget

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Would you like to get a raise? Start thinking about creating a budget for your household.

While the dreaded “B” word makes many people cringe, the good news, experts say, is that managed money works harder for you. People who learn to budget will fare better in life financially than those who struggle with the basics of budgeting. If you are reluctant to budget, then think of the following as a game. Just for kicks, follow these tips. Experts say even becoming more aware of your finances will cause you to save money!

  • Begin by keeping track of your monthly income for a month or so. Don’t forget to include all sources of income, like tax refunds, bonuses and gifts.
  • List all monthly expenses, not forgetting to include a category for unexpected medical or dental. Divide these monthly expenses into “have to’s” and everything else.
  • Compare your two lists. From your income, pay your have-to’s first, then your savings, then everything else.
  • Establish your goals. Whether you want to buy a new car, a new home or a new dress, having a financial goal will give you something to work toward.
  • Be flexible. Your budget needs may change due to unforseen circumstances.
  • Keep your budget simple and expectations realistic.
  • Review your budget often and make adjustments when needed.

Source: Making the Most of Your Money by Jane Bryant Quinn;

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