A budget allows you to track your income and your expenses. By writing down your monthly income and expenses, you can SEE how much money you have earned or gained each month and can figure out a comfortable amount to be spent.
Homeschooling can truly affect your budget if you’re not keeping track of how much you’re spending on supplies, trips, curriculums and other expenses. Before spending anything on your homeschool, it’s wise to sit down and write out a household budget so you can better determine how much is a comfortable amount to spend on homeschool supplies and other expenses.
The first rule of budgeting is an easy one: Spend Less than you earn!
For example, if you earn $2,000 per month from your job and gain $50 per interest each month from a savings account, you have an income of exactly $2,050. Now you know that you must spend less than $2,050 per month.
Structuring Your Budget
- Determine your income.
Estimate all of your incoming money, including Salary, Bonuses, Commissions, Child Support, Alimony and any other sources.
- Estimate Required Expenses.
Required expenses include, taxes, bills, groceries, rent, mortgage, groceries, utilities, insurance, car maintenance, gas, credit card payments, loan payments and medical expenses. You should also require a contribution to your savings account. You should strive to save at least three months’ worth of living expenses for emergencies. You can also put money in savings towards vacations and/or Christmas gifts. It is critical that you get into the habit of paying yourself first! Even a few dollars a month will help to grow your savings.
- Estimate discretionary expenses and homeschooling expenses.
After you have paid the required expenses, you can use the money left over for some discretionary expenses, like dining out or going to the movies. This is also a great place to start allocating funds for your homeschooling expenses (curriculum, out of town trips, special supplies like a microscope or telescope.)
If you’re in a position where you don’t have any income left over after paying your expenses, it’s a good idea to take a hard look at your bills and find a way to reduce your current expenses so you’re in a more comfortable positon. There are numerous resources online that can help you work out a payoff plan or reallocation plan so that you’re in a more comfortable financial situation.
On the following page you can make your own monthly budget. Remember! Stay within your budget, pay yourself first and PLAN for all of the upcoming homeschool expenses and you will always be in control of your finances!