Family budget planners are essential whether you need to save or not. If you don't have control over your home finances, you could be in a tough position and not even know it. Even if you're family is happy and all their needs are met, it only takes a lay off, physical injury or other situation to change things in a way you've never planned for. Be sure to include your partner in the following process to ensure he can also use the planner to help your family stay on track.
Step 1: Buy or Make a Planner
You can find family budget planners online and at most office supply stores. You can also look online and find templates to make your own. Regardless of which method you go with, you need to make sure there's a spot for banking contact information, pockets to stick bills and large spaces to record notes in.
Step 2: Gather All Financial Documents
Gather everything together. Find all your current and past due bills, and get all the paper piles to the table. Go through them and toss out doubles and paid bills. Sort the statements into type of bill: utility, medical, monthly, one time, etc. This will help you prioritize. While all bills need to be paid, the household bills need to be at the top of the list.
Step 3: Record Basic Information
Find and record the location for your banking contact information and record the basic details for all the different companies you owe. This should a little contact information in case you need to get a hold of them to discuss your account.
Step 4: Go through Current Bills
Now that your current bills are sorted, start putting the information into your planner. You need to list the current amount due, the date the bill was received and due date for the amount to be paid. Do this with all your current and past due bills.
Step 5: Create a Payment Schedule
You and your partner likely get paid on a schedule and for about the same amount each time. Take a look at the bills that need to be paid first and assign a paycheck to those bills. Then, do this for the next paycheck and any other income expected to occur during the current month. If your income is not enough to cover your expenses, you need to cut expenses and/or find more income. Taking control of your finances means more than just organizing the paperwork. It means taking the control back from the bill collectors and putting together a reasonable plan to get out of debt and keep up with your living expenses.
Once you have the planner set up, you'll see exactly where you stand and eliminate the paper piles. It may take awhile to get everyone using the planner and sticking to your budget, but once you do, you will have full control of your finances instead of the other way around.