Welcome back to the Master A Budget Series! We are almost at the end of the series, we are now on Day 9. Yesterday, I have shared the Basic Steps On How To Create A Budget; today, we will take a look at What Makes A Healthy Budget.
Let’s dive in.
Having a family budget means, for some people, whipping out the calculator at every purchase, or viewing the budget on their mobile device in the grocery store. For others, a family budget is just a formality and they never really glance at it.
Between these extremes are those who sort of use their family budget with moments of obsessive adherence, or those who try but give up altogether because they go crazy trying to keep track of all the details.
Where’s the balance? How can you maintain a healthy outlook without obsessing or ignoring your family budget?
What Makes A Healthy Budget
For those who tend to err on the obsessive side, it is a good idea to remember to be flexible with your budget. Of course, flexibility does not mean ignoring your parameters. But it does mean you can take a little from one area and cut back in another when necessary. Learn how to move your money around your categories.
Every Member Of The Family Is On Board
Nothing can make you frustrated with a budget like lack of family participation. Family members might just rack up expenses without giving the budget a second thought, leaving you to tear your hair out trying to balance it and cover the expenses.
Get your family involved, even the kids. Sit them all down and show them the numbers. Be creative and make it more fun for everyone. If the whole family is included and on board with the budget, it can improve everyone’s outlook.
You Don’t Have to Keep Track of Every Penny
Some people avoid a budget because they don’t want the stress of keeping track of every cent spent. They’re right – that is stressful. But it’s not the only way. Look into budgeting in a general way, or simply work out a list of expenses, income, and how much you have in the bank right now.
You can also use the cash envelope system. withdraw the budgeted amount and put it in a cash envelope. Use the cash whenever you make a purchase. At the end of the month, when the cash is gone, then you know how much you have spent in that category. You can learn more about the cash envelope system by checking out What You Need To Know About Budgeting With The Cash Envelope System.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your budget, and customize it for your family’s needs. Your outlook is likely to be a lot healthier if your budget is suited for your income, expenses, and personality. Your family dynamic should be taken into consideration when you form your budget.
Everyone makes mistakes and breaks the budget now and then. Beating yourself up over a budget mess-up is not conducive to a healthy outlook, and neither is nagging and punishing family members. If it’s a chronic “mistake,” it may need to be addressed in a civil family meeting. But to keep a healthy outlook, let the minor offenses go.
Know When It’s a Real Emergency
What constitutes an “emergency” can differ between family members. Dipping into the emergency fund for non-emergency expenses can deplete the money pretty fast. Make sure everyone knows what a real financial emergency looks like for your family.
There you have it!
Those are what makes a healthy budget. If your budget has all those characteristic then there is no reason for your budget to fail.
Our budget learned the hard way but along the way, we stuck with it. We learned how to have a strict budget, but at the same time, we also learned how to prepare for change.
Do you have a healthy budget?
Now that you know What Makes A Healthy Budget, the last part of the series is How To Stick To A Budget.
If you haven’t yet, download the Master A Budget Workbook to practice what you will learn from this series.