Before starting your family budget, ask yourself this question: How do you define financial worth? Is it cash in the bank, savings and checking accounts, RRSP’s, stocks and investment portfolio?
Remember, anything you have that is of value counts. All your assets form part of your financial picture and health.
Ask yourself: What is your take-home pay, after deductions? How are you paid? Is it monthly, weekly, bi-weekly? Then you need to plan your family budget accordingly.
Think about all other sources of income, temporary, seasonal, part-time - extra income, found money and bonuses that you might have.
Maybe deciding to leave it out of your family budget altogether is wise and advisable? We will delve into this question a little later.
Try to find ways to do without some small creature comforts and pleasures to reap bigger rewards later.
Starting small, early and now, with discipline and commitment, a steady, consistent pace and amount every month, tracking and optimizing financial phenomena like ‘compound interest’ which we will describe later, will all feed into this process.
We will take this journey into budgeting together to see how it can change lives: yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Back to listing assets and thinking about savings ...
Consider all banks, savings and loans, credit union accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, Christmas club accounts you might have. All liquid assets that can be readily turned into cash need to be included.
Consolidate accounts if you have too many accounts spread out and save on banking fees. Improve tracking actual spending better and more easily. Earn higher interest and have less exposure to identity theft or fraud by getting a good handle on your current situation.
For most individuals and families alike, this step is quite a revelation. It forms the basis and baseline for deeper analysis and scrutiny.
Other assets might include things like: art, precious metals, sculptures, paintings, collections, antiques, jewelry and more.
Most of us are used to having a short-term focus on money and budgeting. A paradigm-shift is required to move us towards a more in-depth, longer-range view and planning.
Set short, mid and long term goals, have a definite structured plan, read up on family budgeting, personal financials and fiscal management strategies. All of this will help us focus on what is important for our needs, requirements and circumstance, while keeping financial discipline and budgeting in the forefront of our busy lives.
This is never an easy task amidst all the hustle and bustle that is our daily lives!
Most of the published literature on family budgeting in general centers around how to get out of debt, stay out of debt and live a full and prosperous life.
Some suggest frugal living is the answer and offer ‘your money or your life’ perspectives, where you cannot necessarily have both. There are many examples advocating the cheapskate monthly makeover that focuses on shaving costs off expenses and living frugally.
Market providers both online and offline, offer various budget kits which offers worksheets and more and there is always the handy tip-like Coles notes and the pocket idiots’ guide to living on a budget.
Other sources focus on becoming totally debt free, debt proofing your life, getting a life and choosing simplicity or how to address credit card debt and expenditure.
Continue to the next step of your free Family Budget Tips Guide : How is This Guide Different?