If you're not already budgeting, you should start now. Budgeting can be a great way to keep track of your family's expenditures and evaluate where you spend the most money.
What is a budget?
A budget is an estimate of how much money you’ll make and spend over a certain period of time, (usually a month). A budget will tell you if you can spend less money on some things and more money on other things. It will help you manage your funds to ensure there is enough money for paying bills and living expenses. It can also help you get out of debt, and create a plan for saving.
Follow these six simple steps to create a budget:
1. Gather three months of your pay stubs and get your average monthly earnings.
2. Get out your bills for fixed expenses such as rent, phone bill, car payments and other loans that come monthly.
3. Take out three months of your credit card bills. Add them up and get the average.
4. Create a list of your monthly living expenses such as groceries, clothing, toiletries and entertainment. Use receipts to determine your average monthly living expenses, or use your best estimate.
5. Create an excell spreadsheet. List your income sources on top and your bills and expenses underneath. Label your columns as Budget/Expected, Actual, Difference and Notes.