What is a Family Budget?

First published: 13 February 2023 @ 6:00 pm

Every family has their own unique financial needs and priorities.

Since there are a lot of ways to budget, it’s important to understand what a family budget is before getting started.

So, let’s take a look at what a family budget is and what it can do for you.

What is a Family Budget?

A family budget is a plan for a household’s incoming and outgoing money over a certain period of time, such as a month or year.

It’s a way to make sure that everyone in the family has the resources they need to meet their individual needs. You don’t have to worry about spending too much money.

The family’s spending habits are closely monitored and discussed so that everyone is aware of their spending patterns and can make changes if they need to.

Why is the Family Budget Important?

It Helps to Achieve Financial Goals

Budgeting is all about planning for what you want to achieve financially in the future.

For example, if you want to save for a down payment on a house, a family budget can help you create a plan and track your progress.

In the end, budgeting is just as important as knowing what you should pay for things, so you can manage financial matters wisely.

It Allows Families to Plan the Life They Want

Depending on the amount of money you earn, you might not be able to do all the things you want to do.

It is very crucial that your money flows in a way that will enable you to accomplish what you want to do in your life.

And to do that, a household budget allows you to set aside money specifically for things like education, retirement savings, family vacations, and financial emergency funds.

This helps you plan for your future and make sure that you are taking care of important things while you still have the opportunity.

It Gives You Complete Control of Your Money

One benefit of having a budget is that you’re in complete control of where the money goes. You own the money you spend and what you put it towards.

When there’s no plan for your money, then it can control you instead. You could spend more than you earn and end up in debt.

What is a Family Budget?
Photo by Katie Harp on Unsplash

It Reduces Arguments

In a household where there is no budget, money can quickly become a source of contention.

One person might want to buy something and the other person might not think it’s worth the expense.

But with budgeting, everyone knows what they should expect when spending. There are no surprises and no arguments about who should or shouldn’t be spending what.

What are the Types of Family Budget?

It can be difficult to begin to do a family budget if you don’t know much about all the types of budgeting.

The best course of action would be to make a budget, determine your net income, keep track of your costs, set financial objectives, and modify your spending habits in accordance with your plan.

So, here are some methods you can use to create family life budgeting:

50/30/20 Rule Budget

The 50/30/20 family budget calculator is a popular budgeting method that splits your monthly income into three main categories: 50% for needs, 30% for wants, and 20% for debt and savings repayment.

This budgeting technique was popularized by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren in her book All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan.

The intent of this budgeting is to help individuals manage their after-tax income, primarily to have funds on hand for emergencies and retirement savings.

Envelope Budget Method

The envelope budgeting method is a budgeting system that involves assigning spending categories to individual envelopes and allocating a certain amount of cash to each envelope.

The goal is to keep spending within each category, without exceeding the allocated amount.

This method is often used by people who want to see how their spending is affecting their overall financial situation or who are struggling to stick to a budget.

70/20/10 Rule Budget

The 70/20/10 rule budget is a money management technique that divides after-tax income into three categories.

The categories are monthly bills (70%), savings and debt repayment (20%), and investing and donations (10%).

This budget method is perfect for people who are just starting to learn how to manage their money, as it simplifies a difficult process.

Reverse Budget

Reverse budgeting is a budgeting system that focuses on paying yourself first and putting your investing and savings goals ahead of everything else.

It is also known as “paying yourself first budget” and involves taking a long-term approach to household finances by focusing on savings rather than expenses.

This budgeting method is an excellent way to learn about your family life financial situation and to set realistic goals.

80/20 Rule Budget

The 80/20 rule of budgeting is a simple approach to budgeting that looks at your take-home income and divides it into two expense categories.

The categories are savings target (20%) and everything else (80%). This method is perfect for those who don’t like tracking expenses, as it requires minimal effort to track expenses.

Digital Envelope System

The digital envelope system is a budgeting approach that replaces the need for carrying cash by moving the whole envelope budgeting process online.

It involves categorizing every cent of family income into spending categories, which can act as a great tool for a family to stick to a budget.

What are Some Tips for Creating a Family Budget?

Start by Creating a Spending Plan

Write down all of your expenses and then determine how much money you need each month to cover those expenses.

This will help you to create a baseline for your family budget and give you an idea of where your money is going each month.

Make Categories for Your Expenses

Decide which expenses are necessary for your family’s well-being and which can be cut back or eliminated altogether. It will help you to save money while still meeting your needs.

Track Your Progress

Make sure to keep track of how much money you’ve saved and how much debt has been eliminated over time with a family budgeting plan.

This will help you stay on track and achieve your financial goals.

Modify Budget as Needed

If you find that you have additional spending more than you’re earning, make adjustments to your budget to bring the actual spending back in line.

If you find that you’re not saving as much as you’d like, make adjustments to your spending habits to increase your savings.

Final Thoughts

A family budget is an important tool for managing your money and achieving your financial goals.

By understanding what a family budget is and how it works, you can start to create a plan that is tailored specifically to your needs.

If you find this article helpful, be sure to check out Mature Parent for more family tips and advice!


What is a good budget for a family?

A good one can help you save money and live comfortably. It should include items like groceries, housing, transportation, and utilities. You can also use a family budget to track your spending and make adjustments as needed.

How often do you do a household budget?

It depends on your family’s spending habits and needs. Some families do a family budget every month, while others do it once a year. It’s important to find a budgeting method that works for you and your family.

How do I cut expenses on the family budget?

There are a few ways to cut expenses on a family budget. You can try to reduce your spending on unnecessary items, find cheaper alternatives when possible, or reduce your housing costs by living in a cheaper area. It can be tough to make big changes to your spending habits, but a family budget can help you start small and gradually make changes that will impact your overall financial situation.

Where can I find a family budget template?

There are many online resources that offer family budget templates. You can also try finding a budgeting guide or software that can help you create a budget. If you’re having trouble creating a budget on your own, ask your family or friends for help. They may have some helpful tips and suggestions.

Does a family budget have to be complicated?

No, a family budget can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. You can use a budget template or create your own budget based on your individual needs and spending habits. Just be sure to keep it updated and accurate, so you can make informed decisions about your spending.