How much are you and your family spending each month? Do you have a family budget? When was the last time you conducted an evaluation of your spending? I know, I know it can be scary but ignoring it won’t change anything if there is a problem, it will only make it worse. So, here at THB I want to get focused on fixing the issues and not ignoring them. True happiness lies in reality and I am hoping to help you get there, by learning how to budget.
Now, to get started you really need to evaluate the situation at hand. How can you fix something if you don’t know what the problem is…so let’s break it down. Recently, I was watching an episode of “Til Debt Do Us Part” which airs on CNBC. (This show evaluates a couple/family’s spending habits and assists them in identifying the problem and developing a plan on how to fix it. I encourage anyone who is able to watch the show to do so…there are a lot of great tips in it.) On this particular episode they showed Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s debt wheel which broke down how much she feels you should typically be spending in each category. She broke it down as follows:
- Savings = 10%
- Transportation – 15%
- Life = 25%
- Debt = 15%
- Housing = 35%
The task for you is to take last month’s spending and break it down into these five major categories. Once you do that, you should break each of those down even further to see how it is actually being spent (grocery, retail shopping, entertainment, restaurants, etc.). I believe that a lot of what most households spend will fall in the life and debt category, but I wonder where you will be.
Once you have it broken down develop a budget and a plan for this month. Determine how you will be working to get those areas closer to these percentages above. You can also use Gail’s interactive budget worksheet.
Everyone, no matter your age, can make adjustments in your life spending. I too will be revising my family’s budget. I will share some of the ways my family is working to get our percentages in line with those above. I also have a free budget 101 course that you may want to take to help identify where your money is truly going and how to learn how to budget for the future.
So let me know…what are your goals and plans as it relates to your finances? Were you shocked at your overall percentage breakdown?
Make sure to share any tips you have for staying out of or battling debt in our THB Change Academy Facebook Group.
I look forward to hearing from you!