Wednesday 6 February 2019

Getting Your Year Into Gear.- The Family Budget

I love the start of a new year.  January is my time to plan the year ahead,  to rewrite the family budget and to start allocating gifts for upcoming birthdays.

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.

Keep in mind,  a budget is there to help you achieve goals and to live a great life.  

How do you revise your family budget ?

Do you revise it at the start of the year or another time ?


  1. Hi Wendy,

    We don’t have a budget as such, I just cannot stick to it. But something I tried last year was to bank ten percent of our pay into a savings account, which we didn’t touch all year. Effectively we lived off ten percent less. Those savings then paid for our kids school fees with some money left over. I got a 5% discount for paying the school fees up front which equaled $405. So a big advantage there. This year we are going to save 20% of our pay, and see how we go. I just find it so much easier to do it this way, and you just learn to live off less.

    1. We live by percentages too as budgets do not work for us either. 60/20/10/10 rule for us.

  2. Hi Wendy. We don't do a formal household budget (although we did use to do when our kids were small) but we do keep a close eye on our spending, are quick to put any extra money into savings and we review things as and when necessary. For example, if the insurance is due for renewal I will take a look at how much it has increased and whether I can get it cheaper elsewhere. I will admit to being lazy in that if there is only a small saving to be made I probably won't bother switching. However, if food is wasted in this house we virtually have a post mortem to find out why! Tracy X

  3. Thank you Wendy and we should all review our budgets regularly as well as our spending habits and expenditure too. I and DH do this regularly and always seem to come up with new ways to save but yet still have a fulfilling lifestyle.

    Recently we purchased our home and got a small mortgage so to say the least it was a learning curve in making a completely new budget. We rang up so many companies to compare home, building and car insurances to get the best deal too. There was a huge difference in premiums between companies. Once that was sorted we had a good budget we could work from.

    We always add about 10 % to each bill per year to allow for premium and other likely increases too and find this works to keep our budget more accurate.

    Have a great week :).

    sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

  4. Great advice thank you Wendy! Extra expenses coming our way due to urgent work needed on our house and garden (invading bamboo and a leaky boiler ��)


This blog is designed to be a source of encouragement and inspiration.

Negative comments will not be published. Comments advertising businesses or goods for sale will not be published.

Please include your first name in your comment so that I can respond to you.

Comments are moderated manually. Please allow a few hours for them to appear.