Frugal Family Fun: Creating a family budget to repay debt

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Creating a family budget to repay debt

This article isn't designed to provide a 'comprehensive' guide to creating a budget, so you might find it useful to read some other budgeting resources as well. For example, you'll find some more information on creating a family budget on this site.

Providing for a family can be difficult at the best of times - but even more so if you're carrying debts.

Not only do those debts take up money you'd rather be using for your family spending, but if you don't address them, your debts can soon get worse and threaten your financial stability.

If you're in this situation, and you'd like to create a strong family budget to repay debt - you've come to the right place.

Where to start when creating your budget

When you're creating your family budget to repay debt, it's important to start with your income.

Get a piece of paper, and write down everything your family earns in one month - this includes salaries, benefits, grants, and so on. 

Now write down everything your family spends on essential costs each month - this includes your mortgage/rent payments and day-to-day living costs (food, for example, and transport costs). Don't include the monthly cost of repaying your unsecured debts at this point.

Once you've got these two totals, it's time to work out your disposable income. Your disposable income is the money you've got available each month to spend on your unsecured debts and - if you've got some left after doing this - saving and/or non-essential purchases.

Your disposable income is a very important part of your family budget - because it's the money you'll use to repay your unsecured debts.

So, now you know how much it is, is your disposable income going to be enough to cover the cost of your debts each month?

If it is, that's great - you'll now have a concise plan of your finances and should be able to manage them more efficiently. What's more, if you can find the time to stay on top of your budget on a monthly basis, you should be able to foresee any potential problems/shortcomings in your finances and address the issue before it becomes a problem.

You could even use any spare money you are left with to overpay your debts each month, which means you'll be debt free sooner.

If your disposable income isn't enough to cover your unsecured debts - you've got a problem that needs addressing immediately.

First of all, think back to your essential costs. Could you save money on your bills, for example, by becoming 'greener'? Or could you save a bit of money on your day-to-day costs such as your food - by purchasing non-branded products, for example, instead of branded ones?

There are several ways you could 'free up' additional money to help cover the cost of your unsecured debts - but if you can't find enough money to really help, it might be a good idea to seek professional debt advice.

This is a guest post from Please see the disclosure.


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