What is a family budget? One can say: “My family budget is in a disastrous condition”. Another one says: “Darling, we should cut down our expenditures to normalize our budget”. We hear this term every day and we know that we should maintain our budget scrupulously in order to survive. In brief, a family budget is a simple financial plan that consists of the total family’s income and expenditures. Of course, the budget includes the income of every member of a family. In the same way, every member has his or her own expenditures that can often be a burden for the whole budget.

Although the subject of a family budget seems to be an easy one, there are many hidden problems related to this issue. A family budget is not only a sum of the income and expenditures but a complex system of planning and risk taking. Moreover, family budget depends on every family member. It is very easy to keep your personal budget when you are responsible only for yourself. You can plan your income and basic expenses. In addition, you have extra money for your private purchases. In fact, if you live with your parents or have your own family, you obtain numerous new duties. You are supposed to share the entire budget with your partner, children or parents. When there is only a couple, the budget is more or less simple for maintenance. You and your partner work, make money, pay taxes and save something for the future. It is always easier to live in 50\50 partnership where every partner makes and spends more or less the same sum of money. Unluckily, it is impossible whereas everyone has his ow her own level of needs. While one is ready to wear cheap clothes, another partner will never put on something of that kind. Thus, the latter spends more. Most often, the first partner becomes a ‘sponsor’ of the needs of the second one.

What about children? This element makes family budget planning extremely difficult. A childless couple is independent. Both partners can control and predict their expenditures successfully. They are confident of their future income and they can afford numerous extra expenses. When you have children, you gain responsibilities. You are responsible for their life, health and wellbeing. Children require food, healthcare assistance, clothes, etc. If we speak about health, children are very unpredictable in this aspect. One day they feel perfectly well. The other day, they require professional help of a physicist. Thus, parents are expected to possess extra money in case of unpredictable situations. Their family budget should be planned with the memory about such extra cases. Another issue is education. Parents strive to provide their children with good education but it costs a lot. If they want to save money on such needs, they should cut down other expenditures.

How is it possible to plan your family budget? Although the task sounds impossibly, it is easy to plan it wisely. To begin with, count the number of the working family members and add their average monthly income. Then, you should think about the basic expenditures. You will definitely need to pay for your living. Electricity, gasoline, water, the Internet, public transport, etc. cost money. Calculate the average fee for these elements and you will receive the sum that remains for food and services. If you cook at home, you will hardly spend more than several hundred dollars monthly. However, eating out will cost you a lot. Now, you can include expenditures on clothes and domestic appliances. After all these calculations (if your income is higher than expenditures), you have a chance to save money for your future.

It is possible to define healthy and unhealthy family budgets. The first one is the budget where the income is higher than the family’s expenditures. In this case, people can pay their debts and improve their financial condition. Parents can devote the definite sum to their child’s education at college or collect money for a new car. Regularly, a family should save 5% of their income monthly in order to maintain its budget. Unhealthy budget is characterized with the domination of the expenditures over your income. In this case, your debt increases while your financial well-being reduces rapidly. The best way to solve this problem is to eliminate luxuries and expensive purchases from your budget. For instance, you do not need a new car when you can easily buy an old automobile that costs ten times less. You can make your lunch at home and take to your workplace instead of buying expensive coffee and fast food dishes outdoors. Finally, it is possible to reduce the bills using electricity, water and gas reasonably. For example, turn off the light and electric appliances when you do not need them.

A family budget is a complicated topic for discussion though many inexperienced young people do not think so. This process requires sober mind, critical and analytical thinking skills. One should be able to predict and evaluate his or her needs and opportunities objectively to maintain the family’s well-being.

About writer: This short essay is written by Sarah S. who has been working for writing organization since 2012 helping students with writing academic projects.

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