Setting up your home budget is as easy as filling in the blanks with this free budget template you can download. Moms are often the accountant, financial adviser, and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). What my husband makes (and how well I invest and manage what we already have) has to cover what we need, and then, we worry about what we want. (Or, at least, that is the goal!) I explained in an earlier post that although my husband is the money-maker, I am the money-manager. He brings in the bacon, and I save it, divvy it up, and pay the bills with it.
The key to balancing a household on one paycheck is knowing what comes in as far as income, and where it goes out in the avenues of your expenses. We handle this with a spreadsheet available for you to download free.
My parents taught me how to use a spreadsheet when I was in junior high, after I had been babysitting for a few years. I really did plug in what I made and what I spent, monthly.
I did not use this method as regularly then as I do now, but it was a start to understanding that I shouldn’t spend what I don’t have, or if I did, eventually I owed more than what the original purchase was worth. Smart parents teach their children about money and saving. I am glad my parents did that for me!
Many SAHMs I know do not touch the budget: their husbands take care of it all. You and your husband have to decide if that works for you as a couple, or if it would take a little off of his plate, and add a little bit of interest to yours, for you to take on the task of watching over the family budget.
I enter our finances for each month and that gives us an idea of how we are doing financially. Everything that comes in and everything that goes out is tallied.
We wait until the end of the month (and bank statements post) before I enter in all of our income and expenses. We tally everything from our student loans to gas for the cars, groceries, and miscellaneous trips to restaurants, etc.
I pull up our bank statements to note item-by-item which amount was spent in which category. This helps us view where we are spending to help us adjust the next month. This free download budget template you can use for your home budget has formulas built in to add monthly totals and yearly totals as you go.
Again, if your husband handles this, and that works for both of you, at least try to ‘sit in’ when he goes through the budget so that you know what he is dealing with. You both should know what is where.
There are countless resources for help on how much you should be saving, spending, giving, etc. for your current and future financial goals whether it be paying off debt, buying a home, saving to send the kids to college, or retirement. I have used MSN money, Charles Schwab bank, Dave Ramsey’s website and business news networks for information.
Financial planning is on my mind every day, and I find I learn a little more as I go. You don’t have to know everything all at once, but it does help to keep reading and learning to best plan for present and future whether you have a surplus of funds or are just getting by.
If you have financial resources that you recommend please feel free to comment below so that others can share in the knowledge! I always appreciate learning of new ideas and resources.
Grab your home budget template here and get started managing your money responsibly today!
How do you manage and keep track of the finances in your household?
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For teaching children about money check out: 6 Tips for Teaching Children Money Management
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