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How to Make a Successful Budget for Your Family Once and for All

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How to make a successful budget for your family

Have you ever seen a budget category percentage chart? You know, all the right percentages that you should be spending so you can have a successful budget for your family?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the suggested budget category percentages for a couple of reasons.

  1. My budget doesn’t look at all like the chart.
  2. I start to feel guilty for not making the percentages that I should be making.
  3. The percentages/categories don’t include categories that are on my actual budget.
  4. I can’t get the numbers to work when I am following the suggested categories.

So how do you make a successful budget for your family? Here are 5 tricks I have found. 

EASY! 5 steps for a successful family budget for your family! | Cook With a Shoe

Suggested Budget Percentage Chart

Category

Recommended percentages

My percentages

Giving

10-15%

19%

Housing

25-35%

18%

Utilities

5-10%

7%

Food

10-15%

7%

Transportation

10-15%

9%

Health

5-10%

6% (+)

Insurance

10-25%

25%

Personal

10-15%

3%

Recreational

5-10%

2%

Saving

10-15%

7%

Total 

100-165%

103%

I found this budget percentage chart at EveryDollar.com and I tallied up my own percentages.

Yes, I agree with some of the recommended numbers. Housing really should be at 25% of your income if at all possible – but that’s to ensure that you will have enough money for everything else without money being super tight.

As you can see from my percentages, there are some categories that are on the really high end (oh, the joys of self-employed health insurance) and other categories that are intentionally much less than the recommended numbers. And for crying out loud, my percentages are currently sitting at 103%!

It’s not really accurate and I think I know why, because some of my savings is money that’s actually skimmed off of other line items where I didn’t spend as much as I had put down.

Additionally, my percentages have definitely changed over time, so this is only a reflection of my expenses right now. 

Have you read the other posts in the series, 'Budgeting When Money is Tight'? 

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE BASELINE SPENDING WORKSHEET

1. Quit comparing your budget to others

First of all, I think it’s important to say that every single budget is different and should be different.

There are no two financial situations or families that are exactly alike in every single way. 

There are numerous factors that impact what a successful budget for your family actually looks like such as:

  • Which part of the country you live in
  • Housing costs/cost of living
  • What is your income
  • How many are in your family (and how much they eat!)
  • What all of your expenses are – especially the ones unique to your family – and how much they are
  • How much debt you have
  • If your income is from self-employment and varies
  • If there are extraneous circumstances 

And so on…

So can we agree that all budgets are unique? There’s no guilt trip here and no cookie cutter approach.

I mean, even one budget can vary from month to month and doesn’t look the same every single time!

When I talk about helping you create a successful budget, I want you to set up something that totally works for you and your family!

My next easy trick will help you find out just how much you are spending so you can set up a baseline budget. 

Find out what you are spending with this easy trick! Click the Read More Button to go to the next page. 

Like this post? Check out all the rest in this

About the Author

Hi! I’m Charissa. I was able to pay off all my debt, pay cash for my husband’s education, and build up my savings-all because of using a budget. I love to share all the budgeting tips I’ve learned with you so you can have a successful budget too! Read more…