Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year...New Budget!

For the first time, one of this year's most popular New Year's Resolutions is to improve financial health - an excellent choice, due to the impact your finances have on your family, your future, and your own well-being.

I challenge you to improve your financial health this year by improving your budget. It seems that most people always have room for improvement in their budget, and making a few changes can lead to great improvements in your overall financial health. And if you think you don't need a budget, you are wrong - every family needs a budget, regardless of your income or spending habits.

If you aren't already living on a budget, take a look at these budget-writing steps.

Now, looking back on the last year,
  • What spending did you regret? Can you eliminate it this year?
  • In what cases did you feel that your money was well-spent?
  • Was your spending activity in line with your family's goals? Did you reach or come closer to any of those goals?
  • Did you always stick to your budget? Did you improve your budget at the beginning of each month?
  • How much did you spend on Christmas? Now divide that amount by 12 and put that much from your paycheck each month into a savings account until the holidays. Don't let Christmas break the bank in December!
  • Have you discussed your finances with your spouse on a weekly basis?
  • Have you established an Emergency Fund? If so, are you now saving for retirement, and other important life events each month?
  • Is your family on board with your budget? Having the support of your family can make a huge difference in your budgeting success. Let them know that your budget is going to help your family reach its goals.
Every family's financial situation is different, but asking yourself these questions should help you improve your own budget. The new year is a great time to start creating better money-management habits, and your budget will help you maintain those habits!


I'm Jenny Willardson from A Young Mom's Guide to Motherhood, Money, & Marriage. Look for me on the first Monday of each month for more advice on family finances.

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