Getting started on an annual household budget
We can probably all admit to splashing out on stuff that we don’t need or spending that little bit extra when you know you shouldn’t have. As we get to the end of the year, now is a great time to start creating an annual household budget to help you manage your spending throughout the year.
The thoughts of starting a family budget probably doesnt sound very appealing so we have created some tips and tricks that’ll make the entire process a lot less daunting.
1: Figure out your total income
First things first, figure out what type of budget you’re working with. Have a look at all your incomings, from salaries to children’s allowance. Once you know what your total is you can get started on a plan
2: Plan, plan, plan with a calendar:
Don’t get caught out with any unexpected events like a wedding or a forgotten birthday. Create a calendar plot our any big events that you know are happening throughout the year. Start with your immediate family first and then look at extended family, friends and work. Plotting out all of the events in one calendar will give you an idea of all the big events coming up and you can allocate money from your budget towards them.
3: Budget on a month by month basis:
Once you have all those big events & birthdays plotted into your calendar it will be easier for you to create a monthly budget (and stick to it). Some months might be busier than others so be flexible with the amount of money you set aside for each month. Don’t feel like you need to set the same budget for each month. September can be an expensive time with back to school costs so allocate a bigger budget for that month and reduce it down for some of the quieter months. As you get closer to Christmas, make sure that you’ve got enough set aside for the festive season. It can be a pricey time of year with all those presents, treats and the Christmas dinner to consider.
4: Keep a record of those more expensive things:
You’ll probably find that there are regular expenses that you can depend on each month – things like your mortgage, rent, electricity, broadband and gas bills. A lot of these will be the pricier items on your budget sheet and are important things to include each month. Focus on getting those covered before you consider any of your other expenses.
5: Expect the unexpected
If you can afford to, it’s always good to set aside a rainy day fund for any unexpected costs – things like last minute events, medical or dental emergencies. Having that little nest egg will help with those potential stress inducing events, but remember it’s called a rainy day fund for a reason – don’t be tempted to splash it on those new boots you’ve been eyeing up!
6: Know the difference between what you need and what you want:
Let’s face it – we’ve all been guilty of strolling to the shops just to buy that one pair of jeans but you end up coming home with a handful of bags! We just don’t know how to pass up a bargain! Think about the cash that you might be wasting on all that stuff that you probably don’t need and it’ll make it easier to stick your annual budget.
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