A good family budget should give you a realistic plan to help you keep on top of your household spending, and maybe even leave you with enough to save up for your family rainy day fund – or even a holiday.
Try out these top tips to help simplify your family funds...
1. Take stock of your family spending
It can be easy to miss small expenses when it comes to family finances, so it’s useful to have a good overview of all your outgoings.
Start by noting down everyone’s day-to-day spending – that’s everything from travel expenses and the cost of hobbies – and then spontaneous spending, like lunches and weekend outings. This should help you get a better idea of your family’s overall outgoings.
Top tip: You may want to keep a keen eye on those teens – a tenner here and a twenty there can quickly take away from the family pot.
2. Review the bills
Now it’s time to check your bank statements. Looking at the last 3-6 months’ worth can be an easy way to pinpoint regular payments and get an idea of your monthly average – whether for your joint account or individually.
Here’s some things to look out for…
1. Rent or mortgage payments
2. Utility bills – gas, electric, water, internet, TV, council tax, mobile phones
3. Loans and credit cards
4. Food and essentials, such as nappies
5. Car costs
6. Childcare costs
7. Clubs and hobbies
8. Pet costs
9. Savings payments, such as kids’ ISAs
Top tip: Checking back even further can help catch memberships or subscriptions that you’re not really using, or had forgotten about, and can cancel.
3. Add up all the one-off costs
Now you have a handle on your regular family outgoings, but what about the one-offs, like school uniforms and birthday parties?
Factoring in Christmas and family holidays can also help you feel better prepared for the year ahead.
Top tip: Divide your one-off expenses by 12 to give you a monthly budget, or by 52 if you prefer weekly – just don’t forget to stash that money away.
4. Make the most of online tools
Online tools and mobile apps can really help with family budgeting – especially when there are so many different parts to think about.
The Yolt app is great for setting and managing family budgets. You can individually categorise things and even switch on budget notifications to help you stay on track.
5. Include the whole family
It’s never too early to start learning about family budgeting, so why not get the kids involved? Gamifying your budget plan can be a great way to motivate the whole family, with small goals and rewards along the way to give you something to aim for.
Top tip: Use the savings tile on your Yolt Dashboard to help visualise your family goals and see how well you’re doing every month.
Check out our guide for more tips on working out your living budget.