Creating a budget can help you and your family to get a clear picture of your family income, your expenses, and how much you have left over for savings and daily spending.
Before I had my son, I had a great job that paid fairly well and worked long hours. With the knowledge that we would be moving when the baby was 5 months old, I thought about staying home with him at first.
With this in mind, my husband and I reworked our budget spreadsheet to see if we could make it work on one income.
It’s so important to have a budget. It allows you and your spouse to review how much you are spending for each bill such as rent, where all of your money is going, and how much you have left over for groceries and other needed items.
Whether your budget is simple with just having everything listed, or complex with formulas calculating each months expenses, having a budget written out can help you to visualize how much you can spend on groceries and other items and examine one income versus two (even if you were taking an unpaid maternity leave).
Making the budget with your spouse or partner is a great way to make sure you both are on the same page and working as a team to make your budget successful.
You can open up this Template to help you in creating your budget. Here is a screen shot of the budget below. There are already formulas in the spreadsheet that will help you to calculate the money you have left over after all of your expenses. Simply enter the amounts in the cells.
The red cells are your expenses. The green cells are your savings, or money left over. The blue is your take home money and the orange credit card cell is one that is an allowable amount. We never use as much as we are allotted – this is just a highball number so that even if you have unexpected expenses, such as a high doctor bill, you have that in the budget to spend if needed. Whatever is not used, can then be added into your savings.
For an example, I put a family income of $120,000. You can then enter in how much you pay in taxes, social security, etc. from your pay stub. If you get paid weekly or bi-monthly, simply multiply the tax amount by 52 or 26 to get a rough yearly amount or use your W-2 from your taxes.
Then, enter in your expenses like your rent or mortgage, and your utilities, If the amount changes every month such as your water bill, type in the average cost per month and multiply it by 12 to get the cost for the year.
You can then see how much you will have left over to put into savings or for your daily spending.
Daily spending is for things not in the budget like a co-pay for the doctor, a treat to Starbucks, or a monthly date night.
Now you can see exactly where all of your money is going and can use this to make decisions on the amount of money you have for groceries, a vacation, or an item you wish to purchase.
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