A home budget plan is a guideline that you and your family use to manage your money on an ongoing basis. A standard budget simply lists your household income (total take-home pay) compared to regular household expenditures. To form a plan of action related to the budget you must first create a set of goals related to your money. You can always add and update goals as needed in your home budget plan as your household needs change.
Start your home budget plan in a financial budgeting software program. Some budgeting programs allow you to manage your money from an online account, while others require you to download the software to your computer. Choose a program that is specifically designed for home use and provides you with updates and reminders regarding your plan.
Gather your bills and enter all of your basic budget details first. Identify every possible income source, your utility bills, debts and miscellaneous expenses. Remember to include the monthly total for your everyday expenses, such as groceries and entertainment, as well.
Determine if you have a deficit (expenses exceed income) or a surplus (amount leftover after expenses). If a deficit, the first task in your home budget plan is to figure out how to cover your expenses. Make that your first listed goal in your budget plan and brainstorm ideas, such as cutting out some unnecessary bills or getting new employment. If a surplus, simply identify the amount you have leftover.
List all of your additional money goals next in your budgeting software. For instance, if you want to move soon or buy a home, that is one goal. If you plan to buy a car, that is another budget goal as is paying off a debt. Set a timeline for when you want to reach these goals and then total the amount needed for each.
Create a new column in your home budget under expenses for saving toward the goals you’ve identified. Divide the total amount you need by the amount of your budget surplus to figure out how long it will take you to achieve the goals of your new budget plan. As an alternative, you can place your goals in order of importance and then dedicate all of your savings to them in that order. For instance, if you have a $300 budget surplus and want to save $3,600 to buy a car, it will take you 12 months to reach that goal. Thereafter, you can dedicate your monthly $300 surplus to another goal, such as paying a debt off in full.
Update your home budget plan regularly as needed. Set reminders to notify you when you accomplish each item on your plan.
It is wise to check your credit report and that of your spouse before developing your budget plan to get a better understanding of your financial situation.