So you’re ready to do some family budgeting? The best place to start is here, with our Family Budgeting for Beginners. You’ll see that the first thing you need when creating a family budget is a good dose of honesty about exactly where you’re spending your money. The Spending Diary exercise is invaluable for helping you to get a clear idea of where your money goes each week.
Once you have the honesty bit in place, what you need is a plan. Which is where we come in. We’ve created a series of heads and subheads to help you write down all the expenses in your life. These should cover off most of the areas of your spending, but feel free to add in your own. Add up each section into a sub-total and then a grand total at the end. Once you’ve got that, subtract your expenses from your income and, voila, the magic figure that will tell you whether or not you’re living beyond your means (hint, if you get a negative, you are living beyond your means – see Family Budgeting for tips on making cuts to your spending.
Note: decide if you want to do a weekly, fortnightly or monthly budget then make sure you use the same figures for each section. If you choose monthly, for example, add up all your electricity bills for the last year and divide the figure by 12 to get a monthly average. That’s the figure you use. Also, to turn a weekly figure into a monthly one it is more accurate to multiply the weekly amount by 52 (weeks) and then divide this by 12 (months), as opposed to simply multiplying the figure by 4 as some months have five weeks.
Download our family budget template here
Download the excel spreadsheet version of the Huggies family budget template here