How to make a household budget template

5 tips for quick budgeting and huge savings.

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Managing your household's finances is easier said than done. Small expenses like grocery bills and takeaway meals could easily add up to become a big budgeting problem. And that's not even considering big-ticket payments like mortgage loan repayments or credit card bills. That's precisely where a household budget template comes in handy.

What's a household budget template and does it actually work?

A household budget template is essentially a plan that helps you manage your home expenses. It involves balancing your cash inflow (income) with cash outflow (bills and expenditure). Ideally, the best household budget template would outline a plan for you to balance your expenditure with a healthy amount of savings.

Sounds like a hassle? Not quite. Although many people prefer to manually jot down their monthly household template, you can always opt for a sleeker online budgeting app. Either way, setting out clear monthly expenditure and savings goals helps keep you accountable. More importantly, with budget planning, you're less likely to make impulse buys that could pinch your wallet.

5 tips for quick and effective home budgeting

1. Choose a budgeting technique

Detail-oriented people might prefer listing down monthly expenditures and allocating a set amount to each activity. Bigger-picture thinkers might prefer categorising their expenditure into "needs", "wants" and "savings". You should ultimately choose a budgeting technique that appeals to the way you like to think about your finances. Here are some popular techniques to consider:

  • Activity-based budgeting. As mentioned, this technique involves allocating an amount or percentage to activities. For example, you could list your monthly household expense items in your household budget template. This could include petrol money, utility bills and groceries. Allocate a budget to each of these categories.
  • 50/30/20 budgeting. This method involves allocating 50% of your income to essential spending ("needs"), 30% to non-essential spending ("wants") and 20% to savings.
  • 80/20 budgeting. If you feel too restricted by the 50/30/20 home budgeting allocation, you could always switch up the numbers to an allocation you're comfortable with. For instance, the 80% spending and 20% savings model is a popular option to consider for your household budget template.

2. Track your savings

Choosing a budgeting technique would be in vain if you don't follow through with it. In many cases, people give up on their household budget template after the first few months simply because they don't stick to their budgeting techniques.

One of the most popular ways to solve this is by budgeting through an online app, like the Finder app. You can obtain an overview of your outstanding payments, monthly expenditure and savings at any one time. The Finder app also gives you easy savings tracking, transaction monitoring, credit report viewing and being notified of the latest deals to help you save. That's all for free – and it could give you a world of savings on top of any budgeting technique.

3. Set limits on non-essential expenditure

When implementing a budget technique, remember to be harsh on non-essential expenditure. These are the categories that really end up eating at your savings and preventing you from growing your money at a faster rate. Let's take a look at the different types of non-essential spending that you should watch out for on your household budget template:

  • Luxury goods and leisure activities. Budgeting often involves sacrificing high-end expenditure for long-term savings. This means less eating out and fewer expensive trips or indulgent shopping sprees. These activities are all considered non-essentials and should be limited if you're trying to budget better.
  • Expensive brands. Even basic necessities can be differentiated into essentials and non-essentials. For instance, you should opt for a cheaper brand when buying groceries instead of splurging on the high-end products. Switching brands and saving a dollar on cheese could actually add up in the long term.
  • Expensive stores. Select stores come with higher price tags simply because of their brand name. It might be worth considering getting a product from a cheaper, local store instead of a branded international chain. In plenty of cases, the difference in quality is marginal while the price savings can be significant.

4. Plan ahead

Planning helps prevent impulse buying. That applies to both overall home budgeting and smaller moments in your life like meal planning. Planning with your home budgeting template gives you a better understanding of your monthly savings which would then prompt you to consider your finances before spending. Additionally, smaller steps like meal planning reduce the likelihood of you spending unnecessarily on luxuries like takeaway food.

5. Factor in deals and discounts

Do you have a membership at clothes and makeup stores? Is your supermarket discounting products you normally buy? If so, take advantage of these deals and factor them into your home budgeting template. This will give you a better understanding of your total finances and act as a reminder for you to take advantage of relevant discounts when you're spending.

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Free budgeting template

To get you started on the right track, we have a free budgeting template for you to use right now.

*Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this calculator, the results should only be used as an indication. They are neither a recommendation nor an eligibility test for any product and should not be construed as financial advice, investment advice or any other sort of advice.

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