Home Owner’s Information Center

Your Household Budget

At the end of the month, do you ever say to yourself “where did all the money go?” Does it sometimes feel like it’s a constant flow of the income coming in and the bills going out and nothing much left in between? Do household discussions over money seem to take too much of everyone’s time? For many homeowners, time spent in the development of a household budget may help to alleviate many of these problems. A comprehensive budget will not only tell you where the money is going now, it can give you a road map to tightening expenses, leaving more money available for goals you may want to establish, both short term and long term.

By developing a budget, and then following it as closely as possible, you will be taking the first steps toward taking control of your experience of owning a home, rather than the home owning you.

Hints on developing a household budget

1.Make it a household project–get everyone involved.
2.Find out where the money is going now first.
3.For lots of hints on saving money on your “new” budget, see the section devoted to budget saving tips.
4.Determine your goals, both long term and short term, and calculate how much money you will need to achieve them.
5.Make every attempt to allocate funds to your goal categories.
6.Be realistic–if you are currently spending $400 a month on groceries, you probably are not going to be able to cut that amount in half–but you may be able to save $25 to $50 per month with careful planning.
7.Don’t give up. Developing–and living with–a budget takes time and patience. Don’t get frustrated when you don’t achieve all your goals in the first 30 days!

Most of All, Have a Plan!

Without a definite plan of attack, your budget goals will probably be doomed. Like diets, many of us have started on family budgets only to see them wither away with time. We have found an excellent new resource, written by a couple of the most average people you could meet, that details their personal plan for financial freedom. (As an example, they increased their net worth from $63,000 to over a half-million dollars in six years–on a combined income of around $65,000!) The Average Family’s Guide to Financial Freedom is easy to read and follow and is highly recommended if you want to make a real impact on your financial condition. More information at amazon.com.

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