Having these systems in place gives me great peace of mind and a sense of purpose for our family I'm more inclined to view the year ahead with great anticipation knowing i have a plan and goals to work towards.
A great place to starting planning is to look at the family budget. Here are some questions I ask myself when revising a budget -
* Did last year's budget work for us ?
* Are we spending too much money in certain areas ?
* Should we be putting more or less money into certain areas ?
* Are we earning enough money to cover our household running costs ?
* Can we be more thrifty ? If so, how ?
* What is our savings goal this year ? * How will we achieve this ?
* Can we eliminate certain spending categories ?
* If our income was reduced dramatically and unexpectedly, would we be able to pay all our bills and eat ?
A budget should not be set in stone due to circumstances changing on a regular basis. Bills go up, children eat more as they grow or incomes can increase / decrease. So too should the family budget adapt to the changes that life brings.
When writing out the family budget for a new year, make sure you use the previous year's budget as a starting place. Get out last year's utility bills and add them up for each category. Add an extra 10% for any increases the companies like to add at the start of the year. When you have a total amount, divide it by 12 for a monthly amount, divide by 26 for a fortnightly amount or divide by 52 for a weekly amount. This should be direct debited into a bank account set aside for bills.