Family Budget

Groceries. Gas. If you haven’t cut the cord yet, you might even have cable. You’re certainly already familiar with the costs that go into a household budget, but have you considered creating a budget for your family?
A family budget may bring your entire household’s financial priorities into alignment. It’s not about saving money or increasing your bank account balance. Instead, a family budget brings everyone together around shared objectives that can be reached through wise spending and saving.
Let’s start with the fundamentals before delving into the specifics of making a family budget. The experts’ definition of a family budget is as follows:

What is a Family Budget?

A family budget is a financial game plan for your household. By concentrating on income and expenses, your plan explains where and how your money comes from and goes. The way you spend and save is also important to reflect the objectives and values of your family.

According to Jen Smith, author of the personal finance blog Modern Frugality, creating a family budget might be a streamlined version of creating a household budget. For instance, rather than listing every spending, it might simply contain line items that directly affect the children, according to Smith.

Why a Family Budget is Important

A family budget is meant to assist you in maintaining control over your expenditures and, whenever possible, preventing overspending. It also encourages saving objectives so you may set money aside for future plans.

A family budget should empower you to spend in a way that makes you feel secure and in control rather than limiting your options. Additionally, budgeting enables you to educate children on sound financial principles from an early age and serve as a good role model for them.

Should You Let Your Children Know About The Family Budget?

It’s always a good idea to set an example for your children when it comes to wise spending and to start teaching them about money at a young age. It can be enjoyable and rewarding to teach kids how to budget since they can develop an awareness of money and its values at an early age.

Types of Family Budget

You can pick the method of budgeting that you believe will work best for you and your family out of the various options available. Additionally, you can mix elements of each class as necessary.

#1. 50/30/20 Budget

In a 50/30/20 budget, you allocate 50% of your income to necessities like your mortgage and insurance, 30% to “fun” or luxuries, and 20% to savings or debt.

A 50/30/20 plan could be a smart place to start if creating a family budget seems so onerous that you put it off. According to Anthony Martin, the CEO and creator of Choice Mutual and an official member of the Forbes Finance Council, “This type of budget can be more manageable for families to follow since it’s not as strict or time-consuming to plan and review.”

#2. Envelope Budget

Cash is put into envelopes with different labels, such as “groceries” and “daycare,” when creating a classic envelope budget. Having nine envelopes with predetermined amounts of cash each, Texas-based mum of three Wendy Hall reloads them each month. “My husband and I each have a ‘fun money’ envelope that we may use whatever we wish each month,” she continues. “We have accounted for our bills and groceries money. This puts an end to any disputes over how much money the other person decides to spend on leisure activities.

Create numerous distinct checking accounts, each to be used just for its own category, as an alternative way to employ this technique. A homeschooling mother of three Anna Andersen, who lives in Georgia, has 13 distinct bank accounts for various budget categories.
The envelope budget is helpful for families who struggle to stick to a set spending plan because it provides a more accurate picture of what you can and cannot afford.

#3. Zero-based Budget

A zero-based budget assumes that your income less your expenses equals zero. However, that does not necessarily imply that you are using all of your funds. It implies that every penny of your income, whether spent or saved, is set up for a specific goal.

For instance, if your monthly income is $5,000, you might spend $3,000 on necessities like rent, groceries, infant formula, and preschool tuition while investing the other $2,000 in retirement, an emergency fund, a vacation fund, and college savings for your children.

Considerations for Determining Your Family’s Budget

Making a family budget requires careful consideration of a variety of factors. Here is a list of things to think about:

#1. Fixed expenses as opposed to variable expenses:

Each month, fixed expenses like a mortgage, rent, or insurance will need to be paid. Other costs, such as utility payments and grocery purchases, can differ. You may better determine what should be in your budget if you are aware of the various expenses you incur each month.

#2. Repayment of loans and debts:

It’s a good idea to figure out the best approach to settle high-interest bills, such as credit card or business loan payments, while still keeping your credit score.

#3. Family goals for savings:

As a family, decide what you hope to accomplish with your savings. This could be a weekend getaway with friends, a donation to a college fund, or a purchase of a new vehicle.

Five Steps to Making a Family Budget

It shouldn’t be too difficult to create a family budget with a little arithmetic and motivation. Start by following these 5 easy steps:

Step #1. Make a family income calculation.

Counting up how much money you and any other family members earn each month is the first step. Consider your fixed, dependable income as well as any additional income from sources like freelancing.

Step #2. Record your monthly expenses.

List the monthly expenses for your family, including your requirements and wants, keeping in mind that each family will have different needs and wants. Housing costs, child care expenses, food expenditures, health insurance, travel expenses or car payments, utilities, and phone/internet bills are likely to be among your demands. You’d prefer not to live without the extras that make up your wants. This can involve buying new clothes, going to the movies, or going out to eat frequently.

Step #3. Identify the net income.

You’ll arrive at what we refer to as your net income by deducting your monthly expenses from your income. Is there any money still available? If so, these funds could be used for savings or to settle outstanding debts.

Step #4. Select a savings plan.

Choose a savings plan once you are aware of how much money you have each month. There is no right or wrong answer here; perhaps you want to save money for retirement or a down payment on a home. Maybe you want to put money aside for a big birthday celebration for your kid or a family vacation. It’s crucial that you feel in charge of your money and what’s going on with your account each month.

Step #5. Examine and simplify

It’s time to create your budget now that you have a clear picture of your income, expenses, and goals. To maximize your savings objectives, you might want to assess what expenses can be reduced.

Tips On Making a Family Budget That Works (for Everyone)

#1. Decide on a budgetary strategy.

You must decide on a budgeting strategy. using a spreadsheet, pen, and paper, or an application, etc. ..Select a method for keeping track of your income, outlays, and purchases. Every. Single. Month.
Whatever approach you choose must adhere to a few conditions. It ought to be:

  • Accessible to both partners
  • Creating new monthly budgets is simple.
  • convenient for monitoring monthly expenses

#2. Talk about your current situation.

Based on your comfort level and the age of your children, you can decide how much information you want to share with them. It’s possible that you don’t want to say exactly how much money you make or how much each bill costs. However, please have a sincere family discussion about how your household’s finances are doing. As of right now.

Then, as a team, you may discuss your destination and how to get there. Maintain these channels of communication, and make discussing money feel natural. At first, it could feel a little awkward, but you’ll get used to it!

#3. Talk about the distinction between wants and needs.

You must teach kids (and even remind yourself?) the distinction between desires and needs, as well as the significance of putting necessities first, in order for any family budget to be successful. This means that family subscriptions to the nearby wax museum come last on your budget list for the Four Walls, as we previously discussed.

#4. To prioritize expenditure that benefits your children, consult with them.

Your budget probably doesn’t allow your children to participate in all of their interests. It’s okay that way.
Talk to your children about the costs associated with extracurricular activities, clubs, sports, classes, and other things of the sort. For their time and your budget, one activity per child every season is plenty. Find out what that one thing should be through working together.
Include a budget line for family fun (if you have the funds to pay it) when you total everything up.

#5. Set joint financial objectives.

Set financial goals together. These objectives may relate to settling debt or setting aside funds (for example, for unexpected expenses, a large purchase, or enjoyable family activities).
Discuss how everyone can contribute to achieving these objectives. With this next point, methods for doing that are quickly emerging.

#6. Follow the progress of your aim.

Imagine you are putting money down for a family vacation. For this financial objective, decide on a savings target and monitor your family’s progress.

Want to accomplish the task more quickly? Plan a family meeting to discuss how to achieve it. Go without a few indulgences for a few months in order to decide to cut back or tighten your budget. Take up side jobs (some of which you can complete at home). Even the children can hold a bake sale or cut some lawns to advance the family’s objectives.

Including the kids in this process demonstrates to them how money works and how their actions have a variety of effects on the family. Life lessons are everywhere.

#7. Organize regular budget meetings.

One of the greatest ways to maintain open lines of communication regarding money throughout the year is to hold monthly budget meetings. Here are some things to consider both before and during those meetings.

There are monthly expenses as well as the usual things you spend money on each month. Plan family budget discussions to discuss the fluctuating costs for certainty. Discuss your challenges from the previous month, your successes in managing your budget, and your aspirations.
Don’t let the meetings go on for too long. Budgets aren’t boring, so you don’t want them to appear that way. Additionally, it’s usually a good idea to eat snacks. Always.

#8. Prioritize paying off your debts.

$15.85 quadrillion. As of the beginning of 2022, it is the total amount of household debt in America.

Our front doors are continuously being pounded by debt, which comes bearing enticing “rewards” and the assurance of immediate satisfaction. However, in reality, debt only serves to enslave your income to the payment of your past.

So let’s slam the door in debt’s deceitful face. Stop contributing to that $15.85 trillion figure.
The easiest method to escape debt is to enlist the support of everyone in the household and make debt repayment a top priority. Boost it up. Be pumped. Every time you pay more than the required minimum, build a playlist and throw a party. Discover the debt snowball strategy, then employ it to reclaim your income. All. Of. It.

By creating a budget and eliminating your debt, you must maintain your motivation. You must figure out how to rejoice in wins of all sizes. And you must work as a unit to complete it.

#9. Keep tabs on your spending every month.

We talked about how keeping your spouse informed of your spending patterns throughout the month fosters accountability. But you know what? You become responsible for yourself as a result.

Yup. Sometimes you’re the one who needs to check the restaurant budget line and realize it’s just too low to have lunch with your coworkers at the Fry Guys food truck.
However, keeping tabs on your expenditures shouldn’t be associated with negativity. It is being responsible, yes. However, those who manage their money responsibly are those who take charge of it, not the other way around. When the month is through, those who manage their money well don’t wonder where it all went. Absolutely worth it!

Watch your spending if you don’t want your family to be owned by your money and for it to prevent you from achieving your goals. Monitor your spending.

#10. Your budget should be adjusted as necessary.

Bow ties, budgets, and braces. What ties these three B-words together? They should all be adjusted.
Yes, you should make changes to your budget each month. You have two choices when a budget line is nearly at its maximum while you are tracking those transactions. One: Simply refuse. Two: Readjust the expenditure.

Your response to life’s extras is always to choose the first option. Your personal spending limit is final once it is depleted. When a budget line for a restaurant is used up, it is used up.

However, suppose your electricity bill was more than you had anticipated. You cannot explain your budget line to the electric provider over the phone and request that they turn off some of the lights you left on last month. Nope. You cover the invoice. And you locate the cash by modifying another budget line.

There is no slow cooker on a budget. You cannot leave it alone. To make your budget work for you and your family, you must go in and make changes.

#11. Make the youngsters’ commission workers.

Many of us received an allowance as children. However, giving your children money for nothing instead of making them work for it teaches them about the nature of work. They perform tasks for pay. They put money aside and use it to buy things.
To teach children the importance of money and hard effort, as well as how those two things are interconnected, start them out with commission-based income.

#12. Don’t be embarrassed to discuss money.

It’s normal if this all looks strange at first. It turns out that only 28% of parents discuss money with their children. That’s insufficient!

Push through any uneasiness that may be stopping you. Two of the strongest financial foundations you can provide your children to help them succeed with money later in life are budgeting together and teaching them how to make and spend money sensibly.
The family that budgets together develops together, as they say.

Resources for family budget calculators online

Our access to technology makes it simpler and faster than ever to create a family budget using digital tools. Organize your spending with these powerful tools:

  • Family budget calculators: The EPI calculator is a fantastic tool for quickly calculating costs for your family online. It provides estimates based on US economic conditions. The results, which were calculated using a cross-section of 10 family types (up to four-child households), are based on a simple way of life.
  • Tools and applications for budgeting: Convenient apps can instantly make your expenses simpler by transparently tracking all household and family expenses. Consider using a bank that offers push notifications following each transaction, the ability to schedule frequent transfers, and the ability to monitor and gain insights into certain expenditure categories. This will give you the ability to fulfill whatever financial objectives you may have.


Making a family budget might first seem intimidating, but once it’s in place and you grow used to tracking every purchase, you’ll wonder why you put it off. It might even turn out that you like learning where all of your money goes because it can be empowering! If you’re having trouble choosing the best budgeting strategy for you, think about consulting a personal finance professional or financial planner. You’ll quickly become an expert budgeter.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like