Managing a household is no easy task. Parents have to manage chores, raise the kids, keep things running and make sure to do it efficiently and cost-effectively. Budgeting tools can be really useful in helping parents manage household income and expenses better and easier. A family budget template is a simple but very effective tool to help parents do just that. There is a variety of templates available today – some come free of charge and some for a small fee. There are Excel spreadsheet versions, Google Docs versions, printable ones, online ones as well as computer and mobile applications. Furthermore, there are different types according to user preferences, primarily family budget planners and personal budget planners. Thus, a family budget template will be easy to find, but there are some things to keep in mind when you are choosing the right one. This article will help you distinguish exactly what you need from the wide variety of choice available on the Internet right now.
Setting Up a Family Budget Template
When it comes to budgeting, the more specific the budget is, the better the results will be. All of the family income should be assigned a purpose in the budget, be it to cover some expense, to be saved, or to be invested. In addition, if the expense categories are broken down in detail, you will have a better chance to spend money exactly as desired – based on plans rather than impulses. With a more detailed budget, you also have a better overview of exactly which type of expenses were bigger or smaller than the budgeted amounts. Thus, when you are looking for the perfect family budget template, make sure that it includes all the expense categories that are relevant to you in greater detail. For example, taking care of small children, teenagers or elderly family members all have their specific type of expenses that will reoccur on a regular basis. You have a much better chance of allocating money well and sticking to the budget if the family budget template has big family expenses like child care broken down into more detail.
The next thing to consider when looking for budgeting templates is the period of time the template is intended for. Weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly budget templates are all available, and it is up to you to decide which type of budget suits your needs best. You don’t have to choose only one – since they are very different, yearly budgets can be used in combination with weekly or monthly ones. Monthly budgets are most commonly used, probably because the budgeting doesn’t need to be done too often – only once a month – and many expenses like bills, rent and mortgage come on a monthly basis. On the
other hand, weekly budgets can be very useful for special occasions, such as when you are traveling or doing something out of your regular routine. Yearly budget templates pay special attention to income and expenses that occur once a year, such as taxes, tax returns, insurance, and similar. You can use the information from the yearly budget and incorporate the costs and income in your monthly budgets as well. Thus, there are several types of a family budget template that can be used for different purposes.
The main reason why it is so important to choose the right family budget template is that budgeting can be quite challenging in the beginning. Many people find it frustrating to find out that it is not easy to anticipate the correct amount for all kinds of expenses. However, if the budget is tailored to your needs and provides sufficient detail, it will be easier to anticipate expenses. On the other hand, you don’t want to spend too much time customizing the family budget template, thus you need to start with one that includes most of the things you spend on and one you could fill in relatively easily. Filling in the budget template can be quite time-consuming at first, but that is the necessary cost of better spending and saving habits. If it was easy enough to do in our heads, there wouldn’t be a need for it in the first place! As it is, it is not easy to do these approximations in our heads – with everything else going on in our lives, it is be easy to lose focus. So why take on all that mental stress of planning and then retrieving information, when a computer could easily do it for you? Try to keep in mind that there is a learning curve when it comes to budgeting – within a few months you will probably feel like an expert compared to your friends who have never used such tools. When they see how much you have benefited from using a family budget, they will be begging for your advice and your family budget template!