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how to create a family budget

How to Create a Family Budget That You Can Keep

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Developing a budget for your family is an extremely important part of planning for the future — both for the short term and long term. So much of your family’s well-being depends on knowing how much money is coming and going, but it can be difficult to find the time or even know what to do when making a plan. That’s why Police FCU is here to show you how to create a family budget.

Why You Should Make a Family Budget

Money may be an uncomfortable topic for some families, but it doesn’t have to be as long as everyone can freely and openly communicate about it. Here are three reasons why you need a family budget:

  1. It helps guide the financial direction of the family.
  2. Everyone will understand where money is going and why. 
  3. All family members can agree on a common set of goals and expectations for spending.

Get Out the Spreadsheet

Now that you’ve decided to make a family budget, it’s time to create it in a format you can easily organize and update as needed. Any spreadsheet platform will do, and they usually have templates as well that can make this important step easier.

Income

Income is any money you bring in during the month. Mark down what you and anybody else in the family contributes, including any extra money that comes from side businesses, freelance work, or anything else. Then, add up these figures for the family’s total monthly income. 

Expenses

Next, you’ll want to track expenses. You can start with fixed expenses like house payments, car payments, or insurance payments because they’re known quantities. Non-fixed expenses like utilities, gas, or groceries can be more difficult to pin down because they vary. 

The best way to calculate these totals is by assessing an average for each of the category types. You can use your banking app and track your expenses over the last few months to find an estimate. 

Income Minus Expenses

Subtract your expenses from your income. The difference will give you an idea about whether you’re living within your means or whether you should reduce spending. 

Creating a family budget is a great way to know where you stand financially and have important conversations about budgeting and spending priorities. It also helps you keep better track of your outgoing expenses so you can stay on target for your family’s goals.

Consolidate and Pay Down Debt

Getting control of your debt should be a top priority during any budget planning. Too much debt is a serious threat to your family’s financial security. It keeps you from making the most of your money, and high-interest payments can easily become a burden, especially when that money could be invested in more personally rewarding things.

If you’re struggling with multiple payments, debt consolidation can be a great option – and one Police FCU offers! Debt consolidation is designed to eliminate high-interest payments, making it easier and faster to pay down debt. Here are more reasons to pay down your debts:

  • Reduce the stress in your life
  • Less bills to pay
  • Improve your credit score
  • Save more money for the future

Start Fresh – with Less Debt and a Plan

Your budget will look a lot better with fewer loan payments. You’ll feel a lot better too. But sometimes, people might avoid solutions like debt consolidation out of fear there’s a catch22. 

With Police FCU, however, you don’t have to worry. We offer low-interest, fixed-rate personal loans that you can use for lumping all those high-interest payments into just one monthly payment. With several options to choose from, plus an easy application process, you can quickly find a personal loan that works for you.

We’re here to help your family live a happy and financially successful life. Let us know how we can help.

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