The choice of becoming a stay at home mum and reducing the family income to one wage is a big adjustment. A few things that I needed to learn quickly was:
- How much income was coming in
- How much to anticipate our bills were each month
- The cost of raising our newborn twins, nappies, formula, clothes etc
- Be more budget conscious with the groceries
My hubby Scott is an accountant (runs his own virtual accounting firm) he helped me to understand the changes that going to one income meant. And the biggest lesson I learnt was to budget. Every 6 months we sit down and work on our family budget to help ensure that we are not overspending and that we save money to put towards a big ticket item such as a holiday or new car. When I first started comparing our budget to actual expenses I realised I spent a lot of money each month on magazines and hiring DVD’s, it was good to see, I didn’t stop myself from buying them, but instead I limited it.
I really recommend you find the time to sit with your partner, prepare your budget and work on a future plan together. It really helps to relieve the stress of only having one wage when you know exactly how much you can spend and if you can splurge when there is a sale on clothes! Read further on my tips for budgeting.
Couple the budget with the Bill Organiser and you are on the road to organised finances!
We have created a Household Budget which is very simple to use and I am so pleased to have it available in my shop
What you need to use this budget
- This budget is an excel spreadsheet that you input all your data into, it comes with easy to understand instructions.
- Very easy to use by simply inputting the numbers. All formulas and graphs are programmed in.
- You can personalise each sheet by adding in your own descriptions.
If you don’t have a lot of time you can use the ‘basic budget’ sheet to create a quick and easy budget. With the option to select the frequency that you receive the income or pay the expense and the amount for that period in the amount column. This sheet also includes a graph that will automatically show you your average monthly summary and a yearly summary for your income and spending.
Budget By Month
This ‘budget by month’ is still very easy to use, but helps you to create a more detailed 12 month budget as there maybe months that some expenses are higher than others. Eg, I find that winter months our electricity bill is a little higher as we use the heater more often. Add in the amounts you expect to receive or spend under the relevant month. A graph will then show you your budget summary and spending summary for a particular month or the entire year.
The amounts entered into this sheet are automatically added to the ‘Budget versus Actuals’ tab which will then easily allow you to compare your actual income and expenditure to your original budget.
Actuals By Month
This is where you type in all your actual actual income and expenditure on a monthly basis. It’s great to keep track of even the littlest of things, eg how much you spend on takeaway coffee each week, as the littlest of things always add up. The graph will then show you the actual summary and spending summary for a particular month or the entire year.
Budget Versus Actuals
All the data for this sheet is automatically added from previous data you have added from the Budget by Month and Actuals by Month tabs. Use this sheet to see how your income and expenditure is tracking compared to your budget for a particular month or the entire year. The graphs will show you whether you have any cost savings or are overspending and in which areas this is.
- Set aside some uninterrupted time to start your budget
- Be honest with the figures when budgeting, even remembering the little of things you spend money on, as it’s always these that add up
- Have on hand all your bills, rent receipts/mortgage statements and payslips so you can easily add in these details
- Don’t forget to include items such as haircuts, manicures, play gym entrance fees etc to your budget
- When starting to budget it’s a good idea to keep receipts for everything, this is so you can get a really good idea of the actual money you are spending
- For little items paid for with cash where a receipt is not received, keep a notebook and pen in your handbag to keep track of these expenditures
- When the actual amounts have been put into the budget don’t be too hard on yourself, it’s now time to look at where you are overspending and work on these areas.