In as much as big or small businesses have a budget, a home budget in every household is also a necessity. This will aid you in looking and monitoring your finances, control your expenses, and live within your means. It is basically an overview of your family's expenses. To get started on your family home budget, here are some quick and easy steps to create one using MS Excel.
- Open MS Excel. It is an electronic spreadsheet used for storing, manipulating and organizing financial data. If you have one in your computer, open a worksheet to start with your family home budget worksheet.
- Format the columns. Decide on how you would want to look at your worksheet-weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. The columns will represent your income and expenses on your decided schedule. If you are receiving your paycheck on a monthly basis then it is easier to plot your columns on a monthly basis.
- Plot the categories. On the left part of the sheet, plot your categories.
- Gross income. Start with your family's income as your top category and label it accordingly. You can use titles such as Total Gross Income or Family Gross Income. You can also have sub-categories under family income to breakdown in detail such as salaries, business income, other earnings, etc.
- Savings. This category will include the amount you want to set aside to deposit in a bank or invest in a particular business or even just for a rainy day expense.
- House expenses. This category will include expenses for rent or mortgage, utilities, repairs, taxes, insurance, etc.
- Car expenses. You may include under this category, loans, gas, insurance, maintenance and repairs.
- Debts. Include in this category your creditor's name and of course the amount to be paid.
- Miscellaneous. This will include what your family uses and consumes such as grocery, medicine, pet food and vitamins, child care services, clothing, haircut, movie tickets, and everything else you usually spend in any given month.
- Totals. When you have finished tabulating all your categories, at the end of the worksheet, plot your total monthly expenses heading. Under this heading, plot your categories i.e. house expenses, car expenses, debts and miscellaneous. Next to the total monthly expenses category, you can now plot your monthly surcharge or shortage
- Format the cells. Each cell on the worksheet can be formatted to create a mathematical equation that easily sums up or subtract data as you enter them. Use this function on totals to sum up your income or expenses categories. There is a sum button that you can use to easily plot from cell to cell.
- Personalize it. Use fonts, adjust cell size, and highlight categories with colors. Adjust decimals and currency. Label your worksheet in a way it would be easy for you to analyze and understand in one glance.
Creating a family home budget should not be a chore but sticking to it is. Once you have created a family home budget and you have a firm grasp on your finances, it will be easier for you to free yourself and your family from unnecessary spending and put the money into things that would really matter.