Organising your home budget is not an easy task. You must think about what money you have coming in, when it’s coming in and then how much you have going out. Typically, not every payment you have to make each month is going to go out at the same time, which can make your life confusing after payday! A lot of families time their utilities and mortgage payments to go out within a few days they receive their pay check and this is purely for convenience. By timing payments this way - with a few days’ room between incoming money and outgoing bills – you can account for any irregularities. If one month you don’t earn as much as you had foreseen, those extra days will become precious and allow you time to fix any issues.
When you plan your family budget, you have to think of the important and urgent payments first and work your way down the ladder. For example, you’re not going to priorities social nights out over your mortgage payment, are you? You need to choose which way you intend to do your monthly budget; either pen and paper budgeting or using spreadsheets and other software. It can be easier to use a spreadsheet or a software programme like this one as you can easily see what you have coming in and out at the click of a button. There are some very clever ways you can cut corners on your budget, and we’ve compiled a list of cheats for you, so you can save a few pennies here and there.
Cost Comparison: Websites that do easy cost comparisons can really aid you in your household budget. It’s not just gas, electric and cell phone bills either, you can use cost comparison websites for groceries and insurance as well. These will help you plan the best deal you can for your budget and make smarter financial choices.
Cost Combination: As with cost comparison sites, you can also look at what you pay out each month and figure out if you can combine bills. So, instead of paying for your internet usage as a separate payment to your cable TV payments, you can combine the two into one bill with sites like http://www.verizonfiosdeals.com/double-plays.html and save yourself money. You’ll also end up loyal to one company who will be loyal to you, too, so it’s a win-win situation all round.
Cost Swapping: If a sizeable amount of your household budget goes on transportation, you need to re-evaluate your commute. Speak to your employer about a mileage allowance if you are spending a lot of time driving for your job. If you are paying for the bus or the train, map out a cycle route and cycle to work instead. You can get fit and save money at the same time, meaning you’re also swapping out the cost of the gym!
Cost Consolidation: It’s never easy or fun to owe money. If there’s a chance you can consolidate your debts into one, affordable monthly payment to one company, you should do it. Rather than use a specialist debt consolidation company, why not speak to the bank about a loan? Use the loan to pay the other debts off and just deal with the one interest rate.
Cost Reducing: Take a long look at your food budget for each week. Not just the groceries, but the little additions through the week. The trip to the local store for bread. The coffee you bought on the way to work. That delicious sub from the local deli. All those costs add up and you’re likely not including them in your budget. Therefore it always looks like you have more money at the end of the month when you don’t - there’s never any left by the next payday! Start reducing costs by packing lunches to take with you, by batch cooking and freezing meals for easy reheating and by investing in a great flask for those morning coffees to work.
Cost Analysis: Every month, look at your outgoings and make a note of the unexpected expenses, the luxury splurges and the extras you hadn’t accounted for the previous budget. Make a plan and stick to it for the following month and you should be able to see the changes you make in money form.
Your household budget doesn’t have to be difficult to run, as long as you are smart about the decisions you are making. Get that pen at the ready – you have calculations to make!