Every family should have a budget, no matter what their financial status is. A budget tells you exactly how much your have coming in, and how much goes out on a monthly basis for the absolute necessities like housing, food, utilities, insurance, transportation and health care. But what about the future?
That’s another place where a budget comes in handy. When you’ve allotted a portion of the household’s weekly income to the necessities, what’s left over is your discretionary spending amount. These are the funds available to you for short-term expenses, or long-term investments, like your children’s education, and your own retirement funds.
When the children are growing and requiring more in the way of expenditures, there might not be a lot left over. But even 5% of your income can be a healthy start on an education fund. Extras like bonuses or perhaps half the amount of a raise, will make those future savings grow. Since they aren’t in the budget to start with, they won’t be missed, and you’ll still have a portion of the unexpected income to add to your regular budget.
Consider financial counseling at your banking institution, or from a professional. They are often the best sources for learning how to get the most out of the dollars you have to save, and the most out of the future benefits they are going to earn for you.
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