How to “Set up a Family Budget”

Thursday, February 7, 2008

How to “Set up a Family Budget” , presenting our tips

Budgeting is not just about restricting spending and living a cheapskate life. It is about insights, wisdom, informed decisions, action and sustained discipline when it comes to your household financials.

This guide will invite you to learn more in these pages about systematic budgeting. It focuses on practical application and zooms in to apply these “best practice suggestions” in your own home. It empowers you to put together a dynamic, financial plan that suits your pocketbook, means and circumstance.

Financially speaking, assess quickly where you think you and your family are today.

What kind of a picture do you have?

Could you come up with something?

Did you have the data and numbers you needed?

Would you be able to plan for where you want to be and start living your life today as a fiscally sound and disciplined family with the information you have at your disposal at present?

Money makes the world go round! It is no secret that some of us have more, some have less. We deal with our own personal finances and cash management distinctly differently.

Households have varying needs, means and circumstance. Our money-management skills are also at different levels, as is our debt and savings!

Budgeting has to do with most of these perspectives and reflections.

The purpose and goal of family budgeting is:

financial situational analysis and informed awareness,

(ii) cutting cost,

(iii) gaining control or curbing spending and

(iv) Starting to save, building up wealth and liquid assets over time.

There are many phases and steps to go through when creating a budget.

If you are looking for ways to manage your money better, making it reach and stretch further, and providing you with financial security and a more solid future, then you have come to the right place.

In this brief introduction on family budgets, we have already introduced our first couple of key questions

Why an e-book or how-to guide on setting up a family budget?

Why would or do you need a family budget?

What is the business case for and rationale behind family budgeting?

What are the benefits and advantages of a family budget?

We elaborate a little more below. For most people, a family budget is the equivalent of a simplistic process: money is earned and comes in; money is spent and moves out!

It is a fluid, easy-flow, one-directional, cash management process. It is driven by daily life, a spending-orientation, or no plan at all!

For most families, income is also fixed and outflow typically increases over time, as the needs of the family fluctuates and changes. Loading up on debt is also very typical for the majority of our families. If this sounds very much like a vicious circle, it is. Most families are caught up in it and constantly battle to get out.

Mostly, we think that we wisely spend our money on necessities like food and clothing, gas and household or family needs, but can rarely put a finger on where the money actually goes, let alone produce a budget!

A good place to start is to monitor these expenses.

Take stock of your fiscal situation. Start with assessing where exactly you are in your financial life and circumstance. Most of us think we know, but we really do not.

That is, until we take the time to actually list, study and analyze the situation. Figure out what your financial worth is, look at all financial goals, and set a timeline for reaching them. Does this sound like an action plan? Where do you start?

A good suggestion is your bank statements, tax return and recent current credit report - a financial asset statement if you will -and an overview of the current situation.

The premise is simple: you can not get to arrive where you want to be if you do not know where you are today, what it will take to get where you need to be and how to get there.

A well thought out, planned and realistic budget will serve as a roadmap to get you there. It is a financial tool facilitating your financial dreams, goals and aspirations, making them become a reality. Budgeting will enable you to actually reach your financial targets and set goals.

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