Your Questions About Family Budget

Thomas asks…

How much money should teens put into the family budget for the family?

When family finances are tight should teens be required to add a certain amount of income to the family budget in order to provide housing, food, etc. for the family? Why or why not?

richmama answers:

……you should, if you can,

Lisa asks…

What free accounting program do you suggest to manage a family budget?

It has to be simple, small family and small budget. Easy to learn of course. Hope I’m not asking for too much

richmama answers:

Openoffice.org
or a a high school notebook
sorry, grab a pencil and paper
that is all i use

Steven asks…

When estimating our family budget from previous years, which should I use- average/mean or median?

Each year I try to refine our family‘s budget a bit more. We have all of our expenses and income broken down by category. In coming up with estimated spending for each category, I’ve always used averages, but am wondering if medians are more accurate?

Ex: we spent an “average” of $218/month on entertainment last year but only a “median” of $207/month. For 2008, which should be used if our entertainment expenses are to remain relatively the same?

richmama answers:

I would use average. 12 times your monthly average will give you the yearly total which should be close to the next year’s total. If you know an expense will be higher this year like gasoline, you could increase that item.

Helen asks…

Where can I go to find a template for creating a family budget?

I have a family of 4. 2 older teens my husband and myself. Our buget has gotten way out of hand. I want to get a handle on things. Can anyone offer some advice and possibly tell me where i can get a template for creating my budget?

Thanks for your help ahead of time

richmama answers:

Make a plan for your family. Cut down on unnecessary expenses such as eating out at restaurants, buying expensive electronic stuff such as iPods, & start saving more money in your personal account (savings/checking). If your kids are going to college someday you can spend that money you saved which will help them greatly (although your kids should apply for scholarships and grants to make things easier). Start an emergency fund that has about at least 3 months worth of expenses if you and/or your husband were to become ill or something, that way you won’t be too stressed out.

Start making some goals for saving money on:
College
Vacations
Christmas gifts / birthday gifts
or whatever else you have in mind.

Have a family meeting BEFORE you start making these changes. Go over on what needs to be changed and how much money you are aiming to save/spend on.

I have found a nice template on the link below that can help you.

On this website “Free Financial Advice” they offer more advice on handling your money.

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