The Importance of Family Budgeting
Here at Frugal Pig, we find that most people or families don’t suffer from gigantic financial issues. Instead, they suffer from a multitude of small budgeting issues that accumulate into large problems over time. Very often, problems managing cash flow or debt start with small lapses in discipline that can easily be corrected by preparing a family budget.Mostly, people don’t keep track of how they spend money, so they have no chance to fix problem areas.
It’s actually not that important to strictly stick to the budget. It IS important to understand how money gets spent every month and if there are easy ways to save money without reducing living standards much — if at all. Just setting aside a small amount into savings and a bit more into debt repayment can yield great results sooner than most people think.
Family Budgeting Worksheets
If you don’t know how to get started with your individual or family budget, you might try some simple worksheets. They will give you a way to visualize and organizes expenses in order to see if you can fix some money leaks fast.
Here are three family budgeting worksheets that you can download entirely for free:
- The quick-start family budget: This one’s a great choice for people who just want to get their finances organized fast.
- The irregular-income worksheet: If you’re a freelancer or other person with an irregular income, this worksheet can help you get your finances balanced out.
- Family cash-flow management: Just as with a business, managing cash flow is critical for family budgeting.
How to Use Your Family Budget Well
Anyway, once you’ve forced yourself to separate out the money that you have to spend to keep the lights on and food on the table from money that you may mindlessly spend, you’ll probably find that it’s easy to reduce your spending without much pain.
For instance, those $5 lattes add up over time, and you could invest in a good travel cup, some good ground coffee, and probably save about $100 a month. In other cases, you might start shopping around for more affordable sources of everything from utilities to car insurance to food.
Likewise, if you can pay a few extra dollars over the minimum for credit cards and other loans, you can finally start making some headway towards your debt payoff goals.
Here are a couple of action steps you can take to help figure out how to payoff your debt:
- If you don’t believe that a few extra bucks sent towards your debt each month will help, try this free, online debt payoff calculator for free.
- You might also enjoy our guide to the Mr. Spock vs. Captain Kirk Debt Payoff Strategies.
When it Comes to Budgeting, Attitude is Everything!
Look, attitude is everything. If you can look at budgeting as a sort of a game that you can win and not as punishment, you’ll help improve your mental outlook along with your finances. You don’t entirely have to give up your fancy coffee or meals out, but you may have to decide if they are worth the additional load on your family budget.
Here at the Frugal Pig, we’re not into suffering. We’re just into using our money to make ourselves happy and not to create additional stress and burdens.