How to manage a family budget - my personal experience, pros and cons

Today I want to share my principle of budget as a whole, because it doesn’t matter what kind of budget you lead, family or for traveling, the principle itself is important, which can bring closer or delay the possibility of your trips, savings, financial freedom.

I often come across the fact that people do not knowwhere they spend their money, they do not know how much they spend on food, on gatherings in a cafe with friends, on clothes, on unexpected expenses and so on. At the same time, they borrow money, complain that they don’t have enough money, and they want to go somewhere, or buy a laptop / bicycle ... The question immediately arises, do you really want it? Or, what do you want more, squander money for beer on weekends, or go to the sea? Of course, at sea, but because I spend so little on entertainment, there will be an answer. In reality, a person does not know that some of his expenditure items for a total of several months or a year make up a trip to the sea.

The content of the article

Why do I need to keep a budget

I by no means urge to save onwhat is important to you. But it’s better to know and understand how much money it actually takes from you, so that you can make an informed choice. No less important is the knowledge of their real desires, real dreams. I wrote about this in the article How to change your life for the better or what prevents you from traveling.

You have leverage on your family members :) For example, a wife comes to her husband and says, here we areI do not buy anything, do not spoil me, but you already bought Macbook for 50 thousand, ah-ah. Silently, the husband opens the budget, makes a sample for the year and shows that, apart from MacBook, during the year he bought only a couple of T-shirts for himself, while his wife for the whole year already collected 100 thousand clothes for himself, just not everything at a time, but gradually periodically.


In general, the budget is a great thing tounderstand how your expenses are going. In reality, many people think that you will think only 1,000 rubles more expensive, but in fact these thousands of rubles for the whole year (and for someone else in a month) it’s so much that you can buy a car! Toy :) In fact, not kidding, saving the family budgetonly this way is made up of trifles, this is the main feature. 1000 rubles saved = 1000 rubles earned. Recently I considered that my smoking friend spends approximately the cost of a good laptop on cigarettes a year. That is, if he did not smoke, he could change the laptop once a year.

Only I beg you not to confuse savings withmisery Trying to increase your earnings is a necessary and obligatory desire, and not at all contrary to economy. As in business, there is always an accountant who optimizes costs. And, if you go in two directions at the same time, earning, and deliberately sifting unnecessary expenses, you can reach your goal much faster.

I sincerely do not understand the situation when requestsgrow faster income. That's the point of spending everything and getting into debts / loans, for what? Isn't it better to postpone or invest in order to gain financial independence and freedom? Otherwise, you can earn millions, but still "begging".

So, the advantages of the points.

  • Control. You always clearly know what you are spending money on. There are no questions, but where did half the salary go, and who spent it.
  • Conscious choice. After a couple of months of budget management, you really know how much each item of expenditure is, and you may well want to adjust it (decrease / increase). Thus, unnecessary expenses are eliminated.
  • No debt. Getting into debt / loans is minimized, because you can calculate everything in advance and avoid it.
  • Easier to plan purchases. If you want to buy something big or go somewhere else, with a budget it is much easier to plan. You can find out in which month you will have a sufficient amount, which is very convenient, or how you need to change the structure of expenses so that this amount appears.
  • Useful for long journeys. You can always plan ahead for how many months enough money.
  • Convenient for dismissal. You can find out how much time there is and calculate when it's time to start looking for work.
  • Disciplines. And in terms of spending, and in terms of life in general.

I have a budget since 2008. I tried it once and I liked it. Thanks to the budget, it was possible to plan more than one trip, or rather to understand the possibility of its implementation in a particular month under specific conditions. He also helped me a lot after my dismissal in 2010.

I immediately calculated how many monthsfree life can get in which countries to go and what things to buy. Accordingly, I knew in what month the earnings should appear or when it is necessary to go to work (in case of failure).

In general, I like the feeling of security / security most of all, when you can plan everything in advance (for 3-6-12 months) and be calm.


They (for me) are much smaller.

  • Spending and family budget planningtakes time. With the right approach, quite a bit, but takes. But sometimes it is even pleasant to take, but to paint a plan for the next six months and make there useful purchases and long-awaited trips.
  • There is a chance to stick on savings and gosome allowable limits. Or otherwise, become a miser, starting to save on everything in general. It is necessary to understand that everyone has their own borders, that for one economy, for the other - squandering.
  • Addition to the previous item. There is a chance to stick to the current level of income and focus only on savings. Or else, “not allowing” to have more money for yourself, such a psychological barrier can be obtained.

How to keep a family budget

As I wrote above, the basic principles (well, orpluses) - is the control of spending, informed choice and elimination of unnecessary spending. And the budget is based on this: you plan spending on the desired period of time and then stick to them. Also in the process you need to note these expenses in order to correlate the actual expenses with the planned ones.

How strictly do all this, everyone decidesfor myself. At first I conducted everything very strictly in order to understand where and what was leaving, and then I relaxed, began to round off and carry on everything approximately. The result was a floating budget, in which the main thing was the absence of unnecessary expenses, the correspondence of expenses to incomes (needs and possibilities), and not strict conformity and economy for the sake of economy.

  • There are items of income and expenditure. The number of articles there and there can be absolutely anyone, as long as it is convenient for you. I started with considerable detail, and then simplified everything and combined many articles. If you do not know where to start, then start with any articles, usually after a couple of months of budget management it becomes all the less clear. Although I still adjust sometimes.
  • In my opinion, items of income and expenses needwrite those that you will then analyze, or for which you need to track the dynamics. If this is not important to you, then in general you can make one item of expenditure and one item of income. In general, the entire budget can be reduced to a paper envelope, that is, to put in it at the beginning of the month the amount you are going to spend, and then you will see something or not.
  • I write down expenses every day, it's more convenient,and it only takes a couple of minutes. But basically the application on the phone does everything for me, recognizes sms and writes them into the database. And when you need to plan something serious, for example, wintering in Thailand, then you can sit for half an hour.
  • Keep a budget can, both husband and wife, as together,so and someone alone. How to agree, in general. Or rather, who would like it more. However, when they lead together (both spending notes and plan), it will be easier to discuss something than if someone distributes from it.
  • Should we have a joint or separate budget,I will not say. There are different opinions on this. I personally accept both options. When in a pair both are self-sufficient and earn, then, firstly, everyone is more calm and confident in the future, and secondly, he will only be happy with a separate budget.
  • You can keep a budget without planning at all. That is, simply mark income / expenses and check whether everything is in order (control). In some applications and online planning services and no.
  • The essence of spending control is to havepositive balance (reserve), that is, the positive difference between income and expenditure. Let not every month, but in a quarter or a year. Well, that the tendency was visible, in a minus there live or in plus. This reserve can be accumulated or spent on something useful.
  • Usually in all smart books 5-10% ofincome to save in the financial buffer or to invest, regardless of the purpose. 5-10% - this is, indeed, the amount that is almost not noticeable for any income. I do not have such austerity. Sometimes I get into the buffer (I'm leaving for a minus), sometimes I save 50%.

Programs for maintaining the family budget

How to choose a program

You can make any convenient for you.table of family budget in Excel or use ready-made services / applications for budget management, since they are in bulk (Drebedengi, Zen-mani, Monefy, etc.)

Some services have their own site-service and mobileapplication, part only application, part only site. In my opinion, it is more convenient that the option when you can use, and the application on the phone, and the online version on the site from a laptop. This was one of the reasons why I chose Trash in my time and have been sitting on them for many years.

Try Fuckin '>

It is also possible and quite the old-fashioned way - to write on a piece of paper. However, there is a risk that this piece of paper will be lost at one fine moment, and correcting something in the electronic budget is much easier.

How I chose the program for doing familybudget? I went to Google Play, downloaded 5 pieces of android applications that I liked by the screenshots and descriptions, and began to try them. Somewhere 10 minutes for each application. As a result, two remained, which were more or less clear to me, or in other words, where I was satisfied with the logic of budget management. It is important that my principle of reference in my head coincided with the intention of the author of the application. Otherwise, it will take a very long time to understand how to do it. No, everything must be intuitive. Then I tried a couple of days to spend money, to understand, it is convenient to me or not.

How to keep a budget in Excel

From 2008 to 2013, I kept the budget in Excel. You can download an Excel file that represents a simplified template for my budget. Or here is the latest revision of my budget (more complicated file), taking into account the different channels of income / expenditure (cards, electronic money).

One sheet in Excel is one month. The budget is monthly and scheduled for 2-3 months in advance, no less. To plan for six months in advance, you need to create another 6 sheets with the name “monthYear” (for the formula to work), and so on.

In each month there are two columns - planned spending and actual. The first column is for planning, the second for current spending.

How to keep a budget in Excel

How to keep a budget in Excel

In my file (especially in the second) there are formulasif you are not friends with them, it is better to try to make something of your own or use ready-made services. Otherwise, you have to understand. In short, in the second file, you can note the costs per day depending on how you spent them: cash, electronic money, cards. And the balance is then considered exactly the same for all these places of storage of funds.

The second version is more complicated

The second version is more complicated

Service Drebendengi

Since 2013, I transferred the budget to the Drebedengi website and am very pleased. Now I mark all the expenses from the phone, and I plan on the laptop online.

Many operations are automated, for example, allspending on a bank card themselves fall into the budget. Thus, if you practically do not use cash (and I just try to minimize it), then almost nothing to note and do not need. Read a separate post about using rubbish and their phone app, because it's too long to tell.

So a simple Excel spreadsheet is only good for a start, potesting so to speak. And already after they made a decision what to be in the budget, then it is possible to move into services, including paid ones.

The budget on the site Drebedengi

The budget on the site Drebedengi

P.S. Do you have a family or personal budget?

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