Combining a household as a new couple can be stressful, and many couples find themselves spending more and saving less even though many are working with two incomes instead of one. According to Richard Jenkins of MSN Money, a good rule of thumb is to curtail your expenses to 60 percent of your gross household income. For many couples this may be easier said than done, and while there are a multitude of computer spreadsheet programs and financial planners available it is often easier to grab a pad of paper and write a simple family budget together.
Add together your monthly income by combining both total take home pays for the month as well as any child support, food stamps or other monetary assistance that you receive.
List every expense you pay each month, taking care to include the average cost of groceries, day care, transportation, entertainment and any other expenses that may occur more than once a month.
Subtract your expenses from your income. The remaining amount is the money you have left for savings, emergency funds, retirement funds and other investments.
- Keep a daily log of money spent by each person for at least one month to track your miscellaneous spending.
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