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Household Budgeting: Developing an Effective Budget

Household budgeting can help you manage your financial affairs.

How do you make a budget?

A budget is a document listing your monthly income and expenses. Follow these small tips and you can build a budget on your own!

  1. At the top of the page write down the income you bring home each month.
  2. Then, write down everything you spend money on each month. Most people remember their rent payment, but they often forget the coffee they buy on their way to work each morning. We recommend that with every purchase, you make note (such as on your phone or a small notepad) of everything you spend money on, including newspapers, lunch, magazines and your morning coffee. By recording it you will have a complete list of all of your expenses, which will make it easier to create your budget. Your account statements may assist as well.
  3. Once you have your budget in writing, make it work for you. What are your financial goals? Is your budget accomplishing these goals? If not, you need to modify it. You may have to do this by either:
      • cutting down or modifying your expenses; or
      • increasing your income.

There are also a number of free budgeting tools available online for desktop or by downloading an app on your mobile device. You can also use our monthly budget worksheet to track expenses and develop your budget.

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Up Next: Tips on Budgeting

To manage your personal finances with budgeting, the budget itself is not enough – it is imperative you make it work for you.
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