Financial planning is a difficult task to achieve in most families. This is because the total net income of the family is not properly channelled in the right direction. Learning how to plan a family budget is crucial and influences the family standard of living—either low or high standard of living.
Unfortunately, the bigger the family the bigger the needs. In other words, as the children grow the family needs increase.
What Is a Family Budget?
Family Budget is an outline detailing how the family income is spent on various household items, necessities, and other important future expenditures—based on monthly earnings. However, budgeting involves planning concerning the useful and not the needless. It can be a weekly, monthly, or yearly budget.
Importance of Planning a Family Budget
1. Family Budget Controls Wasteful Spending
Creating a plan on how to spend your income helps minimize the rate at which you spend. In essence, it teaches you to spend on the more important things. It further controls how much is spent on each item—using money wisely.
Subsequently, you don’t buy things because you see them. Rather because you need it.
2. Planning Budget Teaches About Priority
Learning how to plan a family budget enables you to organize your priorities. What are priorities? These are activities that are important to you. Oftentimes, it can’t be ignored and influences all other activities in your life. Hence, you’re able to arrange the family needs based on those that are more important coming first on the list.
3. Budgeting Brings The Family Together
Planning how to utilize the family budget is a medium that brings the family together. It further helps you balance work and family together as a parent. Therefore, everyone in the family should be carried along and allowed to share their opinions on the needs of the family.
4. Planning Family Budget Prevents Financial Difficulties
To avoid going into debt, plan the incoming family income. Unfortunately, certain life events are unpredictable and can take one’s life off balance when not prepared.
Oftentimes, families can be seen struggling to pay for the sudden occurrence. In contrast, with a planned budget that can be averted.
How To Plan And Utilize A Family Budget
1. Know Your Net Income as You Begin Planning
To effectively achieve a balanced family budget you need to calculate the total amount of earnings coming into the family monthly. This could be from your full-time job or part-time job or an investment generating monthly earnings. This will guide you to make plans and goals which are within your capability.
2. Analyse Your Expenditures
Get a journal and pen down everything needed with the household likewise the cost for each item. Preferably an estimated cost to avoid diving into another budget plan to complete another.
This list varies from family to family. It includes the following but is not limited to food, fuel, shelter, education, medical aids, travelling, religious activities, entertainment, project, emergency, social ceremonies, and miscellaneous.
3. To Plan Your Family Budget, Regroup Your Expenditures
Subsequently, after analyzing your total expenditure, you need to regroup each budget under two categories.
Primary Needs: These are needs that are important and urgent. These are termed short-term goals. These sets of family needs must be given greater preference while budgeting.
Secondary Needs: These are needs that are also important but not urgent. The family can simply do without them for a long time. That’s why it’s termed a long-term goal. They are not needed at the moment although needed some time in the future.
4. Discuss With Family Concerning the Budget
How to plan a family budget requires making decisions that are favourable to everyone in the household. During such meetings begin by stating the family net income versus the total cost of the expenditure. Perhaps, it’s beyond the incoming income then there is a need to brainstorm together as a family. This involves cutting down the amount spent on certain items, giving more preference to primary needs, and economizing the available resources.
These steps teach children how to make their own decisions.
5. Inculcate the Habit of Discipline
Irrespective of how arranged your family budget plan may appear without discipline you won’t be able to actualize it. Therefore, you need to be disciplined to spend your income on the set plan.
Refuse to be diverted when enticing activities come up, tempting you to spend unnecessarily.
6. Accountability Helps in Utilizing a Set Family Budget Effectively
It’s Important to give an account after actualizing a set family budget for the previous month. This method guides you to rate your family performance. Evaluate how the income was used—for the specific need or something else.
If it was not well utilized then there is a need for readjustment in this current month.
If you fail to plan your family budget you plan to fail in terms of family finance. That’s why it’s crucial to learn how to plan a family budget to avoid going into debt when a sudden family need arises. Most importantly, always have a set aside saving plan—it’s wrong to use the whole family income for needs with saving any.
Therefore, don’t forget to share your thoughts on how to plan a family budget in the comments section below.