Budget or Not

Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Posted by Pearl

Being in a one-income family, a Budget is a must. I have printed a spreadsheet of our budget and posted it in our bedroom wall so that even the kids can see it. Although many families may view a budget as unnecessary, it is really vital if you want to know where your money is going. However, a budget is not just for show or for paper, like what happens sometimes in my household. A budget is more than a written record of the money flowing in and out of your household. It is a financial tool that can help you save money, change your bad spending habits, or to help your family in times of emergencies.

Where did all your money go?
You need to keep track of all your daily expenses by writing it down in a small notebook which you can carry around with you. It's an eye-opener, believe me! Do this for at least one month and write down everything, and I mean, everything, that you spend money on, even the littlest thing or amount.

This will help you trace your spending habits, good or bad. Tracking your expenses is only the first part. If you're spending less than what you're earning, you're on the right track. If you're spending way beyond what you're earning, then it's time for a financial makeover.

Lastly, if you want your budget to work, let the family into it. In my case, my husband and I have discussed this with our kids so that they're aware of where we stand financially. More than discipline and motivation, it is communication that makes a family budget successful. It's going to be hard for you to save and save while everybody else wants to spend and spend.