The family budget is something that has been a bit in the backseat recently with a pandemic taking priority. However, with things now returning to some sort of normality, I am trying to get our family budget back on track. Have you found that old habits have crept back in or you have a little less spare cash each month?
I have found that we have been slipping back into bad habits after making progress with it all, so we are looking to get back on track.
We are not financial experts and we are likely to trip up along the way, however, we have plans and dreams we want to achieve and the only people really stopping us from making that is us. If this sounds familiar to you, here are the steps we are going to take to tackle the budget.
Tips to tackle the family budget
- Go back to the beginning – When you lose your way with a budget, sometimes trying to pick back up can be harder than just starting afresh. So if this is where you are at, just take a little time out to get back into it. It may sound a bit basic, but starting at the beginning is the only way to go.
- Move on – There is no point dwelling on the past if your budget went pop during the last few months. Now is the time for you to get going and let the past go, looking back over it is just going to hold you back.
- Write a list – To understand your incoming and outgoings, you will need to list everything that comes in and out. You will soon start to find that a few pounds here and there every month starts to add up. It is things such as subscriptions to music services, Amazon prime, etc will all be contributing to your budget. Go through your bank statements for the last few months and note down all your spending. I do this by breaking it down into sections such as food, motor expenses, etc. Once you have this list you will be able to set yourself a realistic budget.
- Work through essentials and wants – To stick to a budget, not only do you need to make sure you are spending less than you are earning but you also need to make it easy to stick to by being realistic with yourself. Having a budget where every penny is spent each month with no spending money makes it very hard to stick to. Sometimes you will find that you struggle to stick to budgeting when you have no money to treat yourself.
- Budget for some fun money – Having a budget doesn’t mean the fun can’t be had. Allow some family fun money in your budget. This may be for a takeaway, a day out or just to treat them to something nice. By budgeting for it you are allowing yourself that treat but stopping yourself from feeling bad for doing it.
These may seem like simple steps, however, when your family budget has collapsed as ours did for the last few months, starting back at basic is the only way to go. It is all about baby steps and changing your mindset and approach. Life has taken a bit of a strange turn lately and it has put a lot of things into perspective for us. For a long time, it was all about the end goal and early retirement however we are now focusing on maybe doing some of those plans early, after all, life is too short and you have no idea what is around the corner. It was those dreams that inspired us to get ourselves sorted and overpaying our mortgage etc, now all it has done is fire me up to make those dreams come to life a little earlier!