The Family Budget Places A High Priority On Paying The Essential Expenses First

A family budget is the single most important tool you can use to take control of your finances.

Budgeting is accomplished in steps
each one building on the other

Step 1 - Budget Planning

Step 2 - Expense Tracking

Step 3 - Creating Your Budget

Realizing that Rome wasn't built in a day, you too, need to be patient. Educate yourself and learn from your mistakes. Small steps yield big results.

Step 1 - Budget Planning

The first step in this process it to ask the hard questions.

Discuss each expense and prioritize it with the most essential expenses first.

If we define our essential living expenses first we can prioritize our other expenses accordingly.

What are your 'current' essential living expenses?

The most important part of this step is defining and prioritizing essential expenses.

Categories to consider in your discussion should include:

Annual Expenditures - school registrations and fees, property taxes, federal and/or state taxes.

Routine Expenses - car repairs, medical costs and deductibles, appliance repair or replacement.

Discretionary Spending - Gifts and special occasions, holidays, birthdays, weddings, baby showers, and parties.

After you have discussed all of your possible expenses, now it's time to move to Step 2 - Expense Tracking to evaluate how you're spending your money.

Step 2 - Expense Tracking

The next step is to track all of your spending for 1 month. Write everything down. Save every receipt. No expense is too small.

Don’t forget to track impulse spending categories such as shopping, fast food, and a morning coffee.

Remember the goal of this step is to see exactly how much you are spending on everything. Impulse spending is usually an area that can sneak up on us.

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