by Nicole Hanson, CFP®, CLU, MS
Director, Financial Advisory Services
A big part of reaching your financial goals simply involves stashing away money for the future. Unfortunately, in this day and age, there never seems to be enough time or money. Many clients have asked how to go about developing and managing a family budget. There’s no right or wrong way to make a budget, though there are a few things to keep in mind. A budget, like a diet, won’t work if it is extremely stringent and doesn’t allow for some sweets now and again. Putting together a spending plan that is reasonable and livable is going to be much more successful. It is also important to commit to spending some time on getting a budget established and then checking in periodically to see how you are doing. Finally, it helps if all members of the family are equally committed to working within a budget.
In terms of how you set up a budget, you can do so with paper and pen, a simple Excel spreadsheet (I like to use Google Docs so that my spreadsheet is saved in the cloud and can be shared with my husband), and there are also various online budgeting software. I’ve pulled together a few resources which may be helpful.
Here is a book that you can get in paperback or on Kindle that walks you through the process of creating a family budget and also provides good tips for eliminating debt:
The One Week Budget: Learn to Create Your Money Management System in 7 Days or less! By Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche
Here are a few articles evaluating online budgeting tools to help you select one that would work well for you:
Once your family budget is up and running, you will be surprised by how much money you find that can be put towards your goals and how much piece of mind comes from having a greater handle on your finances.
We would love to hear feedback from you about how it’s going and what is working well for you, so please drop us a line or send us an email.