Customize Your Family Budget Plan
Most financial advisors will tell you that you have to reward yourself for good fiscal responsibility, discipline and habits, to increase your motivation and success levels.
Budgeting is the first step, sticking with and to it, a close second and the sometimes overlooked but ever-important reward, has to keep the motivation going! To repeat and continue to experience the benefit of the budgeting cycle and discipline could be an uphill battle, but there are “calmer seas” ahead.
Cash management, savings, planning for retirement, setting financial goals etc. active and hands-on, is becoming increasingly important for the survival and well-being of our families everywhere.
Be your own best expert with coming up with new ideas on how to save money, budget better and spend less! Your unique strategies stem from a deep understanding of your own situation, demands, and needs. Discover which tips and ideas work best for you. After all, fiscal management and finances are definitely not a one-size-fits-all solution environment. It is personal, customized and unique.
In the following section, we will briefly refer back to the family budget defined and look at some of its elements and criteria, purpose and functions.
- What is a family budget?
- What constitutes a good family budget?
- What should it contain and look like?
What is the family budget again? It is a pro-active, hands-on approach, focused, technical and disciplined strategy to getting a handle on the current financial situation in the home and family,
It concerns setting realistic, SMART financial goals for the household, sticking to it, celebrating successes, learning from failures and trying again if you do not succeed or get it right the first time round .It is about shifting focus completely from a mainly spending to a savings orientation. Cash and money-management 101 for everyone!
We have laid out what a family budget is, does and affects. A brief mention of what constitutes as good family budget and the elements that it contains as well as its appearance, format and functional role follows.
All of us have a wish list of new things that we want. There is always things we would find and places to spend our money. Take the time to make a list of these things. Let everyone who shares cost in your home to have input into making and finalizing this list. Write down what you want most. Beside the goal, write how much it will cost. Split it into goals with ongoing costs and the cost per month, and goals with a one-time cost and list the actual total cost (including all hidden fees, taxes, shipping and or other charges that might apply. Now, next to these columns, start to prioritize these goals.
Which goal comes first? You need to decide which goal on your list should come first. Talk this over with the other members of your family. If you live alone, think it over yourself. Try to list your top four goals and decide what you can fit into your budget.
A ‘good’ budget is in the eyes of the creator or beholder alike! Some suggested, but by no means comprehensive criteria follows:
- Budget is both process and product
- Collaborative, engaged, hands-on effort
- Characterized by communication and mutual agreement
- It advocates involvement and exchange
- It is real-time and reality-based
- A financial check-up and check-in on the family finances, household dollars, situations, behaviors, and resources.
- An action-plan, future-oriented
- Offers a peak into the past, scrutinizes and enlightens the present, while planning and promising a future
- Goal and results oriented
Go to the next page of your free Family Budget Tips Guide : Family Budget Worksheet