Budgeting for the Home: 4 Easy Steps for Households

If you live with other people, you probably share a lot of things in your house – the food, the couch, and possibly the bills.

So why not also share a budget? Here’s how to create a home budget that will help you control the expenses of everyone living under your roof.

What is a house budget?

A family budget is a spending plan that takes into account a household’s income and expenses. This could include a couple or roommates contributing to common costs. (Learn how to create a family budgetMore precisely.)

A house budget can be oriented around the 50/30/20 guideline. According to Budget 50/30/2050% of your monthly net income is spent on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% on savings and debt repayment.

In a family budget, your monthly net income should represent your income and that of your partner, for example.

How to make a home budget

1. Calculate an ideal budget for your household income

Start with your combined net income. Enter that number into our 50/30/20 budget calculator to see how much you should ideally spend per month in each category.

2. List all household expenses

Count your current expenses to see how you’re doing right now. Remember that you will need to account for expenses that might not be so obvious in your personal budget. A family budget should include things like child care and education savings, for example. Talk to your partner or other members of your household to ensure that you are accurately reflecting all of your expenses.

3. Find a family budget template

4. Monitor and adjust your spending

Once you know where you are, find ways to maintain or reduce. Some budget apps can be shared by multiple people so your whole household can record and track expenses together.

No matter how old you are or how many people you live with, a family budget is a great way to motivate everyone in your household to help you save money.

And after?

Before setting a budget

NerdWallet breaks down your spending and shows you how to save.