How to put together a household budget
If you don’t keep track of your earnings and spending, it can be difficult to keep control of your money. This is where a household budget plan comes in, so you can monitor where your money goes every month.
But how easy is it to put together a budget? It’s actually not complicated at all – you just need to write everything down and stick to it!
Here’s how to create a comprehensive household budget plan – and work out where you can make some savings.
Creating a household budget plan
Making a budget for all of your essential bills means writing down what you’ve got coming in and going out. To start with, let’s take a look at your income.
Write down any money you earn from any job after income tax, National Insurance or pension contributions. If this varies weekly or monthly, work out an average from the last three months.
Include any benefits you receive as this counts as income too. Don’t include any bonuses or overtime you get unless these are regular and guaranteed. If you put these down and you don’t get them, it could leave your budget short.
Add up the money you having coming in every month – this will give you a total monthly income.
Your bills and expenses
Next, you need to write down all of your bills. Include your rent or mortgage payments, your gas, electricity and water bills, your council tax payments and any insurances you pay for.
You also need to write down everything else you pay for in the month – including your food shopping, any childcare, your commuting costs, your mobile phone contract and your internet bill.
Don’t forget any irregular bills you have as well – like your TV Licence or dentist bills. You’ll still need to set some money aside for these expenses every month.
Add up all of your bills and expenses to come up with a total for your expenditure.
Looking where you can cut back
Once you’ve created your household budget plan, you can identify any areas where you might be able to cut back. For example, if you pay for a gym subscription but haven’t been for months, it might be time to cancel this. Or if you spend a lot on coffee while you’re out and about, see if you could spend less.
Your budget won’t stay the same from year to year so don’t worry if things change. It’s just important that you keep track of this so you’re always aware of where your money’s going.
And this means that if you have any changes in your income or any unexpected bills, you’ll be better equipped to deal with this.
You may also find these hints, tips and tools useful to help you budget and stay on track: