It’s really important to have a good sense of your finances. Keeping on top of your monthly household budget by knowing your outgoings, and reviewing them regularly will help you to spend within your means. It can also reduce your chances of getting into debt, and increase your chances of saving money.
It helps to split your monthly household budget in 4 sections:
Fixed Bills: Things you can’t change but must pay such as mortgage repayments and council tax.
Variable Essentials: Essential items such as food and petrol, but the amounts may vary.
Savings: It is useful to have a few different savings pots and assign money at the beginning of each month as part of your normal monthly outgoings. In theory you can’t miss what you never had!
Non Essentials: The things that can be cut back on if need be such as eating out and clothes. These are the nice to have extras.
I always set my budget with amounts in every column. Even the things I might not have to pay for every month. Almost a worst case scenario! That way in an expensive month I should have the money, and in a quieter month I can save more or get a few more extras.
In this next section we drill down further into what you should have in each section of your monthly household budget.
When it comes to weekly costs such as food shopping and school lunches, I look at what I spend in a month and divide by five to give me a weekly figure. This way in a four week month I have money to spare, but in a five week month I am not left short.
Always try to base your monthly household budget on maximum amounts. It is important to prioritise what is important to you. If having your hair done once a month is essential to you, put it in the essential section.
When you plan for all costs, and allow some fun within those costs, you are more likely to save money successfully. If you are struggling with debt, please reach out for help.
- Rent / Mortgage
- Council Tax
- TV Licence
- Streaming Services
- TV / Broadband
- Mobile Phone
- Vehicle Insurance
- Vehicle Tax
- Car Finance
- Buildings Insurance
- Content Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Credit Cards
- Store Cards
- Loan Repayments
- Pension Contributions
- Charity Donations
- Window Cleaner
- Car MOT / Service Fund
- Child Benefit Tax Payback
- Pet Insurance
- Work Expenses (Travel / Parking etc)
- Food Shopping
- Kids Lunch Money
- Birthday Cards / Gifts
- School Trips
- After School Clubs
- Christmas Savings
- Holiday Savings
- Kids Savings Account
- Rainy Day Savings
- Specific Goal Savings
- Home Improvement Savings
- Eating Out / Takeaways
- Spending Money (An allocated amount per person for them to spend on clothes or whatever they want)
- Entertainment (Cinema, days out etc)
- Hair Cuts / Beauty Treatments
- Subscription Services
Reviewing your monthly household budget
Try to review your budget every 6 months. You may find you could save money on some of those set amounts by switching energy suppliers using a comparison site, or applying for a new mortgage. There are some great online mortgage calculators available.
Likewise if your earnings change in any way, you should reflect this in your monthly budget. Either by cutting back where you need to if your income goes down, or increasing areas where you are finding your budget a bit tight if your income goes up.
You can also increase your monthly earnings with cashback sites such as Quidco, which are really easy to use. I made £75 cashback just by using Quidco for my Christmas shopping. Look into cash-back deals on insurance policies. There are survey sites when you can earn money by answering questions online. As the saying goes, every little helps!
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