The Importance of Having a Family Budget
Looking for a new way to keep track of your family budget? Try this simple Family Budget Spreadsheet I created and have used for over 5 years. It can solve a few problems by helping you:
- Keep track of your Daily Balance- shows how much you will have at the end of each month after all your bills are paid
- Make sure all of your bills are paid on time, month by month
- Adapt to changes in income/expenses- add or delete items easily
- Create Goals and track them so you can prepare for your future
This is a simple spreadsheet that can be used by anyone with basic excel knowledge.
I keep it on my desktop and update it every couple days. By using it, I’m extremely confident that my bills are all paid on time and I know I have enough money in my checking account to cover all my expenses each month.
If you want to track where you spend your money, I highly recommend implementing another system in addition to my Family Budget Spreadsheet. There are many online systems that provide Envelope Budgeting. They would pair nicely with this spreadsheet.
At the end of this post I share my top picks of Envelope Systems (with links!) that would make great additions to this spreadsheet.
Why Everyone Needs a Family Budget Spreadsheet
Budgets are extremely important for families. By keeping a close eye on your money, you can have peace of mind while planning for your future.
There are many great reasons to create a budget today.
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Instead of thinking of a budget as being a restriction, think of it as working towards freedom. Once you’re in control of where your money is being spent, you can choose what’s important to you.
Do you live month to month, just able to pay your bills? Do you want to get out of this cycle?
It can be possible to feel freedom on any income if you stick to a budget and make priorities.
ALSO READ: Fasting, Living in the Light for more encouragement to reset your habits.
What are your family’s goals? What’s important in your life?
By setting up a budget, you can figure out what goals are a priority, when you want to accomplish these things, and feel empowered once you reach them!
The biggest challenge in working towards financial freedom is getting caught up in consumerism.
Almost everyone struggles with it in our society! Marketers are so good at talking us into believing that we need something.
I’m not a big shopper and I feel like I’m a pretty content person, but when I walk through Wal-Mart picking up some necessities for my family, I still walk by 20 different non-essentials and am tempted to buy them because of how they will “enhance my life.”
It’s my goal to not give into this temptation too often. I don’t often budget for these extras. I don’t actually need another soft blanket, an air fryer, or that cute new sweater.
But man, they sure make you think you need it all.
By budgeting, you achieve freedom from the debt these things can put you in. You can set aside some money for these extras, and decide intentionally if you want them that much and if you have the space in your home for them.
I make a meal plan for the week, type in exactly what I need on the app, and pick up my groceries the next day. This saves me time, saves me from buying extras that I don’t need, and also saves me from having to take kids into the store. Score!
Live life with eyes wide open! Make a budget and feel the beautiful freedom that comes with it!
When you create a budget for your family, you’re able to think of how you can give to others in need. You can easily see what amount you can afford to give regularly, and also may have money available to give randomly as you see a need as well.
Matthew 6:21 says “For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.”
For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.Matthew 6:21
This is so true, isn’t it?
What are you counting as your treasure? If you’re in a financially difficult spot, then your whole life can be tough. It adds so much stress.
But, if you’re in a financial position to give generously to the things God puts on your heart, then the freedom you feel is incredible!
It can take some time getting to a position of financial freedom, but after years of intentional living and budgeting, you can feel the benefits of all your planning, God willing.
What is God putting on your heart to give?
Where is He leading your heart?
How can you structure your life and priorities to serve God with your money?
It could turn into so much more than making a simple donation. It could change your life and what you do with your time.
Setting up a budget allows you to GIVE to the things you’re passionate about! Where is your heart leading you?
3. Training Your Kids
Teaching your kids to budget is one of the best gifts you can give them for their future.
Each family does this a little differently, but I encourage you to find a way that’s best for you and your kids.
If you choose to give your kids an allowance, help them determine what their money should be used for.
One idea many people use is the Give 10, Save 10 Rule: have them put 10% into their savings (not to be used until a certain age), 10% to giving, and the rest is for spending.
Since my kids are young, my husband and I haven’t implemented an allowance yet, but this is something we plan to start with our older two this year. We want to teach them how to wisely use their extra money, and how to budget to save up for things they really want.
ALSO READ: Simple DIY Command Center & Chore Chart to help you implement an allowance system with your kids!
We’ve often told our kids that some things are too expensive to purchase (toys, games), but they still don’t have a good grasp on what $100 can buy. By giving them an allowance, we hope to give them an understanding of how long it takes to save up for these big ticket items.
Each year, kids should be given more responsibility to make these choices on their own, and to learn from any mistakes they may make. What better way to learn than life experience, right?
ALSO READ: Five Ways to Fight Entitlement in Your Kids. This article from Parent Cue gives some great tips!
Your Free Family Budget Spreadsheet
Like I said, I’ve been using this Budget Spreadsheet for over five years. I’ve changed a few things over time, but it has given me peace of mind to know that all my bills are paid on time.
It has also helped me to figure out our family’s priorities and set Big Goals that we want to reach.
This spreadsheet is:
- Easy to use (if you have basic Excel knowledge)
- Adjustable & versatile to suit your individual needs
- Easily accessible with a Google account (via Google Sheets), or download the spreadsheet to keep on your desktop
When you open the spreadsheet below you will be asked if you would like to make a copy of the “Sample Budget Spreadsheet.” Click “Make a Copy” to save it to your Google Drive.
If you’re looking for a new way to budget because you want to find Financial Freedom, Give Generously, and Train Your Kids, then give this spreadsheet a look to see if it could help you achieve these things.
How to Use the Budget Spreadsheet
Check out the video below to walk you through using the spreadsheet.
*Another side note* There are many different ways to create a budget, and you may already have one that works great for you. There are also many incredible resources for budgeting, so look around for one that works best for you!
Envelope Apps to Help Track What You’ve Spent
Have you used an Envelope System to keep you on budget? Any of the links below would make a great addition to the Family Budget Spreadsheet.
If you aren’t familiar, envelope budgeting comes from the idea that you receive your income in cash, then put it into envelopes based on the budget you set up. You would have an envelope for all of your expenses, such as Groceries, Gas, & Mortgage. You use that money for the month, but if you run out of money in a certain envelope then you can’t spend anymore in that category. If you have extra at the end of the month in an envelope, you can save it for the next month.
ALSO READ: How to Save Money on Groceries (from our friend Brandi at The Chicken Scratch Diaries)
The links below are online versions of that. They organize your expenses so you can track where your money is being spent.
EveryDollar came from Dave Ramsey’s money management website.
This is a great book if you want to learn the basics of budgeting and getting out of debt:
Good Budget is a free envelope tool to help you keep track of the money you already spent.
You input the transactions into the app. This tells you when you’re out of money for a certain category so you can reach your goals.
Mint also has a free envelope style of budgeting.
If you put in your bank information, it will automatically download your transactions so you can put them in the envelope they belong.
It also downloads account information from other sites to give you a daily balance of debt, investments, and any other accounts held online.
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What’s Your Plan for your Family Budget?
My prayer for you is that you don’t allow your money to limit you. But that you take control by living intentionally with your finances so you can achieve your goals!
How do you keep track of your money?
If you’re looking for a refresh, download our Free Budget Spreadsheet to help you have peace of mind with your bills and goals. Also try out an Envelope app to help keep track of where you’ve spent your money.