The Best Comprehensive Monthly Household Budget Plans and Ideas

Few topics can cause as much stress and strain on a marriage as developing a monthly household budget. Yet in order to keep long-term goals in sight (college, retirement, your dream vacation) and short-term priorities in line (groceries, bills, mortgage), a budget is necessary. Households that don't adopt a budget face the possibility of being buried under a landslide of debt. You can create a manageable budget with relative ease. But staying on track involves a partnership, planning and self-control.

  1. Tracking Household Spending

    • Keeping track of your household spending is the first step toward creating that monthly budget. It's also the most tedious step. Before even beginning to develop a budget, track your expenses for three months. With online banking options and money management software readily available, you should have the means in place to create a chart you can monitor, analyze and update without too much hassle. A simple Excel spreadsheet works well. You'll want to count everything, right down to the M&Ms you pull from the vending machine every day at work. By tracking all expenses you'll have a much better idea of where your money is going every month.

    Evaluating Your Spending

    • Here comes the painful part, the part that can bring tension, conflict and grief. If you discover that you are spending more than you are earning, you're going to have to make some difficult decisions. Before the household war begins, you'll want to compartmentalize your spending. First, determine your fixed costs. Your mortgage would be foremost of these costs but there will be others, such as car payments, student loans, medical bills such as payment for braces or a second mortgage. Next, determine your regular bills, such as utilities, phone, cable, credit cards, department store cards, insurance and other bills that may not be fixed but always show up. Finally, tackle the expenses that leak money out of your account like a busted faucet. Look at groceries, gas, fast food, meals out and other frequent expenses. After all have been categorized, you'll need to determine what is necessary and what is considered a luxury. Rethink your life. Consider your long-term goals and how to get there, and then be ready to make the tough choices any household budget requires.

    Sticking to the Plan

    • Think of your household budget as one of those pie charts. In fact, you can make a pie chart easily in Excel. The largest slice of the pie should be for necessities--real necessities, such as food, gas, utilities, mortgage and medical bills. Discuss what is truly a necessity in your household. Evaluate whether you need that $100 monthly gym membership or that data plan for three of your mobile devices. If you are truly strapped for cash, you'll need to make those hard choices to keep your balance sheet from dipping into the red. Evaluate your current mortgage and determine if refinancing is an option. Keep the credit cards that have the lowest interest rates or give the best rebates and keep the others in a drawer. Scour your statements for hidden fees. If you can't cut enough, look at raising your household income through part-time jobs, services or opportunities. Don't assume windfalls such as bonuses or tax refunds will automatically happen. Once you have developed a budget that works, make sure everyone in the family has bought into the plan, and track your expenses. If your family strays from the plan, someone has to be the enforcer. Set long-term and short-term goals and, when they are achieved, build into your budget an opportunity for a household reward.

Related Searches

References

  • Photo Credit Shana Novak/Stockbyte/Getty Images

You May Also Like

  • List of Expenses for a Home Budget

    A comprehensive home budget can prepare you for almost any expense. One of ... Food is an important part of your monthly...

  • The Best Budget Systems

    The Best Budget Systems. Whether you need to save money to pay the bills or to pad your retirement account, ... Having...

  • The Best Budget Ideas

    Your household budget includes the amount of money coming in and going out. If you are not careful, you could be spending...

  • Household Budget Ideas

    Controlling your household spending and staying within a budget can be a struggle, especially if you find yourself in a situation where...

  • The Best Family Budget Software

    Budgeting your finances provides a platform for establishing goals and sticking to them. Use budgeting software for the most efficient way to...

  • How to Create a Household Budget Spreadsheet

    Getting a handle on your finances and tracking your expenses can be hard, but the task will be a lot easier if...

  • How to Form Guidelines for a Monthly Household Budget

    It is important to form monthly budget guidelines to watch expenses, pay bills, and use your household income wisely. Other People Are...

  • Understanding Budget Planning

    Understanding budget planning involves figuring out what the ideal budget would accomplish, ... The Best Budget Systems; How to Utilize Free Budget...

  • Monthly Budget Tips

    Monthly Budget Tips. Regardless of your income level and how often you get paid, ... Ideas for Teen Girls' Bedrooms on a...

  • How to Get Cheap Cell Phone Plans for Every Budget

    How to Get Cheap Cell Phone Plans for Every Budget. ... What Is the Best Cell Phone Plan? How to Get Unlimited...

  • Home Budgeting Ideas

    Home Budgeting Ideas. Creating and maintaining a home budget is important for keeping your household finances in order. ... The Best Budget...

  • How to Prepare a Retirement Plan

    Having a comprehensive family budget and living within its constraints is important. 4. ... If you need to prepare for a baby...

  • How to Make a Monthly Budget Circle Graph

    Creating a monthly budget circle graph is an effective way to plan spending each month and is rather easy to do on...

  • Recommended Household Budget Guidelines

    Your household budget or spending plan can be one of the most important tools that you can use to improve your financial......

  • Budget Moving Tips

    Budget Moving Tips. Moving is a costly undertaking. ... so planning a move a month or more in advance is best. While...

  • Ideas for a Romantic Anniversary on a Budget

    Clean the house the day before, take care of administrative and household details, ... Marriage and relationship milestones represent an important day...

  • The Best Family Budget Spreadsheet

    Budgeting & Spending; Household Budgets; ... The best way to tackle your home finances is to develop a family budget worksheet to...

  • Household Budget Information

    A household budget can help you track your spending. (Photo: Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images) ... How to Create a Finance Budget Plan for...

Related Ads

The infamous day of deals can be great for some, but there are alternatives Read Article

The infamous day of deals can be great for some, but there are alternatives