The Most Common & Highest Expenses in the Family Budget

Calculating where your dollars go comes before planning where they should go.

Calculating where your dollars go comes before planning where they should go.

While creating a budget isn’t the most exciting task, it is an important one, vital to ensuring future financial security. As you set up housekeeping with your partner, turn your attention to crafting a budget to guide your spending. When you do, you will likely notice that some budget items take up a disproportionately large amount of your earnings.

Housing

Housing is generally the largest item in a family budget. Depending on the type and cost of your home, you may be spending a sizable percentage of your income on paying for this living space. It is to your advantage to create a basic budget before selecting your living quarters. By doing this, you can allow your budget numbers to influence your housing decision and decrease the likelihood of committing to a property that continually pushes your budget into the red.

Food

When you were a kid, it likely seemed that your refrigerator was magically restocked by kitchen-servicing elves. Now that you are grown, you will likely notice that this is not the case and that keeping this icebox stocked requires a substantial financial investment. Instead of just spending on groceries willy-nilly, include this potentially pricey line-item in your budget.

Vehicles

Unless you and your spouse live in a public-transportation-rich location, you will likely both need a car. If you don’t already own two cars, you will need to budget for car payments. Even if you do own these vehicles, they may still become a budget item, as you will need to plan for gas costs, insurance and upkeep of your automobiles.

Education Costs

If you or your spouse is still in school, you will likely need to allocate a large portion of your budget to education costs. While you could take out loans to cover this cost, leaving your current budget untouched for the short term, doing so may not be the best choice, you will end up paying more in the long run than you would if you had just bit the bullet and paid for this schooling up front. Even if you and your partner have finished your schooling, education may still make a mark on your budget, as you will likely need to budget money to service your education loans.

Child Care

While you may not have any little birdies in your nest right now, it is important to consider the cost of childcare if you see children in your future. Child care can take a bite out of your budget, particularly if you plan to have more than one kiddo. If you are considering adding children to your family, take this financial commitment into consideration and plan to ensure that you can accommodate these costs.

About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.

Photo Credits

  • money, counting device image by Astroid from Fotolia.com