Managing finances is not just about spending money but also saving it. Planning and sticking to a budget can be a tough task. However, one can get a hold of it with a bit of thought and discipline.
Here are five fruitful tips on how to budget your household income and stick to a sensible spending plan.
1. Calculate your monthly household income:
Even before budgeting your finances for the month, estimate the amount of take-home pay available for you to plan things properly. Keep in mind to include all the sources by which you get the income and then accordingly start planning your money based upon the figure.
2. List out the fixed monthly expenditures:
Certain fixed expenditures like the rent, utilities, travel bills, debts, insurances if any, phone and power bill etc., remain the same every month. Therefore, simply leave the amount for these fixed expenses while allocating the money, and then plan spending on the variable expenses or the extras like the groceries, entertainment, shopping etc.
3. After the extras and essentials:
Now if there is any surplus in your earnings after budgeting your essentials and extras, simply start saving it. This can be used by you when you wish to go for your home improvement or when you are planning a vacation or even during any emergency.
And what if you are running short? Any home maker is faced with the dilemma of managing the budget, especially if there are financial constraints.
4. Re-assess and cut down the extras:
Once if you find a low budget after allocating your total income, then do reconsider your idea of budgeting. Firstly put a check to your extras till you find balance. You may find some extras even in your essentials. For this all you need to do is remain realistic and chop down those areas.
For example: One can cut down their phone bills, or get a roommate to reduce the rental costs. If you hold a habit of eating out a lot, then try considering an option of cooking your food, which will decrease the spending to a great extent.
5. Review and keep a track on your spending:
The most important thing to do after planning your monthly finances is to keep a track on your budget. This helps in ensuring you to stick on your budget, which most of us fail to do. This will also help you to review and improve yourself in keeping in track with your plans.