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Making a budget and sticking to it is one of the most important financial decisions you can make. It’s not that hard, and the benefits are tremendous. If you have not yet begun, now is the time to get started.
Budget Q&A: Answers to Your Questions about Making a Budget
Today, many families are floundering in debt, and realize their spending is out of control. However, although they know they ought to do something about it, many people do not have experience or know-how in budgeting. To some people it sounds like a huge, insurmountable task, while others are afraid they will never be able to live within the confines of a budget.
If one of your goals is to get your finances or your family’s finances under control, here are some common budgeting questions answered for you:
Q: Is making a budget hard?
A: No! It is not. In fact, all you need to do is go to Google and type in “budget worksheet”, and there are numerous free resources available to help you in the process. There are also software products available. Microsoft office actually has free downloadable budget templates. Every suggested category is included, so you can customize it to your liking, print it out, and get to work.
Q: Why is making a budget so important?
A: It is important because unless you have a plan to follow, you and your family will continue to spend money, unaware of where it is going.
Q: What if I make my budget, and the expenses are way above my current income?
A: First, it’s good that you made it, because you now realize you have a problem. Secondly, you will want to decide whether there are expenses you can eliminate. For instance, if the entertainment section is $20 a week, can you cut it back to $10? What other categories can you reduce? Finally, you may need to work more hours or get a second job to make ends meet.
Q: Should single mothers/fathers have a budget?
A: Yes! A financial plan is just as important for single moms/dads and singles as it is for families. Single moms will have extra considerations such as how they are going to pay for child care, and will need to factor in their child support payments.
Q: How often should I change my budget?
A: Whenever you need to. For example, if you have a decrease in income or an increase in expenses, it is a good time to re-evaluate your spending.
Q: Should my whole family participate in making a budget?
A: Yes, definitely. First, if you are married, you and your spouse should sit down together, then bring the kids to the table, and discuss the budget with them. Help them understand where the money is coming from, where it is going, and what changes need to made. Of course, mom and dad have the final say. If you are a single mother or father, you would also be wise to discuss it with your children. This helps them learn about handling money at a young age, and sets a good example for them in the future.
In conclusion, making a budget and sticking to it is one of the most important financial decisions you can make. It’s not that hard, and the benefits are tremendous. If you have not yet begun, now is the time to get started.