How to Build a Household Budget

by Jan Kennemer 04/03/2022

The financial aspects of buying a home don't end with the purchase. Home ownership comes with its own ongoing fees and future expenses you'll need to prepare for. The best way to do so is to establish a balanced household budget. Here are some tips for how to get started:

Set Your Goals

Once you have a clear idea of what's important to you, managing your household budget won't seem as daunting. The best place to begin is by identifying and setting some financial goals. These can be short-term goals like purchasing a new appliance or long-term goals like a large renovation project. Make a list of the most important goals for your household so you have a clear idea of how to manage your finances accordingly.

Identify Income & Expenses

Once you've established your financial goals, it's time to consider the actual numbers. The key to budgeting is to know how much money you have coming in and where it's going. Tracking income is typically as simple as consulting pay stubs or deposit statements. You can also include other income like tax benefits and commissions.

Then, identify what you spend your money on. Try making a list with various categories to separate annual, monthly and everyday expenses. In addition to things like groceries, utility bills and transportation costs, make sure to include things like credit card payments, entertainment subscriptions and savings.

Once you have both numbers as a starting point, try tracking your spending for a few months. You can do this in a variety of ways including collecting receipts or using online budget apps. The more you know about your financial situation, the more control you'll have.

Prepare for the Future

In building a household budget, it's crucial to include seasonal expenses. Even if there are parts of the year where you spend more in any category, plan for these expenses in your regular budget. Examples of seasonal expenses include holiday gifts, summer childcare, travel and weather-related utilities.

While these are only a few basic tips for household budgeting, they should get you started. The more practice you have tracking and managing your expenses, the easier it will become.

About the Author

Jan Kennemer

Jan will show you how you can live close to Washington, DC – by public transit and/or highway – and still enjoy all the many amenities and friendliness of a quiet community. Jan is a life-long resident of Arlington, Va. So, she is very familiar with northern Virginia …Arlington, Falls Church, Alexandria and close-in Fairfax. She knows where to find those little out-of the-way places where you will still get excellent value and a home that meets your needs. As a Realtor® for over 20 years, Jan has developed a customized system for marketing and selling properties which includes the latest technologies combined with tried and true practices. She has received special training in working with first time buyers, repeat buyers and seniors. She is a certified VHDA trainer and is certified as a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES©). Jan is also a certified e-Pro. She gets results you want – the best price in the shortest time. Jan is dedicated to helping clients satisfy their needs and wants while providing them with a strong investment for the future. She is readily available to provide explanations and information. She won’t push you into making an uncomfortable choice. Jan helps you to fully understand the transaction, so that you can always make an informed decision based on facts and figures.