A Family Guide to Budgeting in 2019

By on January 3, 2019
Family Budget planning

Budgeting for a family can be very difficult – there are so many outgoings and incomings, and a lot to think about. Whether you have one child, two children, or five children and three pets, you may be pulling your hair out at the end of this year thinking how you could possibly manage financially in 2019.

My Money Coach explains the importance of budgeting, “Since budgeting allows you to create a spending plan for your money, it ensures that you will always have enough money for the things you need and the things that are important to you… Following a budget or spending plan will also keep you out of debt or help you work your way out of debt if you are currently in debt.”

Although it sounds daunting at first, it doesn’t have to be hard. By starting with simply steps, you can begin to correct any previous bad money managing, and get on track to a brighter financial future for your family.

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One of the first things you should do is list your spending. This means every little thing you might buy in the month – from swimming lessons for the kids to that weekly coffee you have in the café. Get a hold of your statements – paper ones are best, and highlight any areas which could be deemed “unnecessary” spending.

By looking at your overall financial activity on a spreadsheet, you get a better idea of how you use your money. It is wise to do this with your partner, if you have one. Remember not to be critical of each other’s spending – it can cause a lot of arguments between couples. Indeed, money is one of the number one causes of relationship breakdown, so try and be sympathetic and understanding rather than judgemental. You are in this together!

Next, look at where you can free money up, and what you can put into a savings account. It is wise to create a direct debit that sees money automatically go into a separate account each month. This soon adds up and can really make a difference when it comes to needing a sudden sum of money urgently – if the boiler breaks down, or if you have a medical expense to fork out for.

If you are struggling to cut down on any spending, look at how you are living and whether you can improve any areas there. Wonga created a list of 40 tips to help you save money, which list things like, turning your lightbulbs off when you leave a room, to smoking less, or spending less money on takeaways. These useful tips may not seem to add up to much, but really can make a difference over a month.

When you have found areas to improve on, it is important that you stick to this. If you have older children, you can speak with them about this budget and your objectives (e.g. “we will not be able to afford that take-away every Friday”;) this gives your kids responsibility and understanding and puts everyone in the family on the same page.

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A Family Guide to Budgeting in 2019