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Money Matters – A Families Involvement In The Budget

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Developing and maintaining a budget is a FAMILY AFFAIR.  If you are married, you must work together.  If you have children, this is the proper time to teach them how to operate within their means.

To make a budget work, there are some things that must be attended to prior to spending.

Together you should: 

  • Decide on needed items and plan how much can be spent before going shopping.
  • Always use a shopping list that has been approved by both spouses.
  • Buy only the planned items.
  • Compare prices and quality before buying.
  • Use credit only when necessary for necessary items.
  • Do not use credit for items that are not realistically needed.
  • Decide together on a vacation spending
  • Encourage each other of the benefits of saving
  • Make realistic goals of being debt free
  • Start gift shopping early and stay within a prescribed means
  • Don’t over spend just to make someone in the family feel good.
  • Decide how much to save on a regular basis.

Set down together and discuss the family budget and include in the discussion the benefits of becoming debt free for the future. 

The following provides a simple method of how to establish a budget.

  1. Go through your checkbook and/or bills for the last twelve months to determine your past expences to create a budget..
  2. Think about your hobbies and other activities you may enjoy and add these to your budget catagories.
  3. Go through your bank statements and/or pay stubs to calculate your monthly income.  Enter this into your budget.
  4. Include all other income such as interest income, dividends, bonuses, or other forms of income you may have.
  5. For each expense category, establish a budget amount that realistically reflects your actual expenses for the coming months.  Put these at levels where it will enable you to save money.
  6. Keep track of all expenses throughout the month and track these in your budget.
  7. Subtotal all the income and expense categories including the monthly mortgage and notes you have.
  8. Subtract the expenditures from the income to arrive at a net income.
  9. If the net is negative, your expenses are greater than your income.  You must change your spending habits to reduce your expenses.
  10. If the net is positive, transfer as much as possible to a savings or investment account at the end of the month.  Do not leave extra money in your checking account because it is too easy to spend it.
  11. After you have tracked your actual spending and actual income for at least a three months, you can easily see your spending habits and identify where you can make cuts or start paying off debt.
  12. Once you are comfortable with the budget process, take an in-depth look at the overall budget.  Locate your largest spending category, discuss how to reduce debt by reducing your spending habits.  Plan for specified savings.
  13. Up-date your budget of income and expenses on a monthly basis.

A budget cannot be maintained without the cooperation of all family members.  One member of the family cannot keep information from another.  Working together provide a spirit of unity in the home and helps control what happens in the area of finances.

 You can learn more about the importance of tithing & giving at

Aubrey L. Jayroe is an Accredited Tax Advisor; Accredited Tax Preparer; Licensed to Practice before the Internal Revenue Service; Certified Tax Return Preparer

For 40 years, Jayroe & Company has been providing quality, personalized financial guidance to churches, local individuals and businesses. Jayroe & Company’s expertise ranges from basic tax management and recordkeeping services to more in-depth services such as reviews, financial statements, and financial planning.


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