Using a personal budget planner software or template is the easiest way to create and update a budget. Your budget is your road map to paying the bills for your business and household, as well as for saving money to take that vacation you've been dreaming about. Here's how to create a budget for both:
Step # 1 - List All Expenses
You have to know what you're currently spending money on in order to make the necessary changes. That includes all the bills you're paying to work at home and for the household. List everything, including the monthly payment amounts. Write down the principal balance remaining on debts. This is one of the reasons why you'll want to use a personal budget planner software, such as Quicken. Some categories are already listed in the software for you to select, and you can easily group bills and other expenses together.
Step # 2 - List All Sources of Income
The money you make as a work-at-home mom should be listed on your budget, but don't forget miscellaneous sources of income as well. For example, if you take baby clothes and items to a consignment shop on a monthly basis, include that income source. Perhaps you dabble in selling books on Amazon or baby-sitting every once in a while for couples who want to go on dates. Try to determine an average monthly amount of these additional income sources and include them in the budget.
Step # 3 - List Your Emergency Reserve Savings
As a work-at-home mom, you need to save an emergency reserve for your business and your household. Three months worth of reasonable expenses is enough. Determine what the total savings amount is and average that amount over six to 12 months. The length you choose will depend on what you can afford to save on a monthly basis. Make it an expense item.
Step # 4 - Eliminate Expense Category
Your total income minus your expenses may equal zero, or you may end up with a few bucks left over to spend. If you end up with a net loss, then there's a problem. In any of those cases, you won't have much or anything to allocate towards a vacation. You're going to have to eliminate some of your expenses.
To begin with, highlight those expenses that are necessary and cannot be eliminated, such as shelter, food and outstanding debts. Everything else should be put on the table as an expense that you can get rid of. Start with the ones that are the least painful, and work your way to the expenses that will hurt you to get rid of. You can stop when you have enough money left over to pay all your bills and save a reasonable amount to pay for your vacation on a monthly basis.
It may take you a year or more to save up the money you need to go on vacation, but it's worth following this plan laid out in your personal budget planner. What you don't want to do is go into debt to pay for it.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business.