Budgeting for you and your family | NatWest

Budgeting for you and your family

Putting together a family budget

Create your budget

As your family grows, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of your spending. Drawing up a budget plan is a great way to feel more in control of your finances, help you to spot any shortfalls or problems early on and maybe even highlight potential savings you could be making on your everyday spending to help you achieve your family’s longer term financial goals.  

What might be included in a family budget?

Whether it’s for the short or long term, there are lots of things to think about when you’re creating your family budget, so we’ve drawn up a list to help you get started. Every family has different priorities, so try to take into account what’s important for yours.

Once you’ve listed all the things you need to budget for, you can use our budget calculator to help you put your own plan together. 

Short-term budgeting

Household bills: The essential bills you need to pay to run your home each month is a good place to start building your budget plan. After your mortgage or rent, work out how much you spend each month on council tax and any management fees on rental properties. Don’t forget your utilities (gas, electricity and water) and other regular bills for phones, internet, satellite or cable and TV license.


Child care: Nursery fees and after school club subs can soon mount up, so factoring childcare into your budget is crucial.


Sports and hobbies: Kids swimming classes one day, football the next,  and maybe a couple of sessions at the gym after work each week too. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of any extra equipment and kit as well as the initial cost of classes or and lessons.


Entertainment: From a family trip to the cinema to a midweek meal out, the cost of making the most of your free time as a family can soon add up, so be sure to build these costs into your family budget.


Pets: Looking after your four legged family members can be costly, so make sure you budget for everything from food to check-ups with the vet and vaccines.


Cars and transport: Filling up with fuel isn’t the only thing to budget for, there’s all the expenses of owning a car to consider – including petrol, road tax, parking, insurance, MOTs, servicing, any new parts and child seats. If you prefer public transport, calculate the cost of your travel ticket.

Longer-term budgeting

Holidays: Family holidays can be expensive, especially when you’re faced with peak prices during school holidays. On top of flights, food and accommodation, make sure you factor in the less obvious costs like travel insurance and passport renewal.


New car: If your brood has grown recently, you might need to budget to buy a bigger car to fit everybody in.


New home: If you’re looking for more space for a growing family, being careful with your family budget now might mean you can save for your deposit or the other fees and costs you’ll find when moving home.


Renovations: If you decide that renovating might make more financial sense than moving home  you’ll need to have enough in your budget plan to meet the building or decorating costs, but be sure to plan some contingency funds into your budget for any unforeseen costs that could crop up.


Retirement: It may be a long way off, but by putting a little bit away on a regular basis now, you’ll be working towards building up a  to help you enjoy your retirement years.


Budgeting for unforeseen costs

Job loss: If you or your partner is made redundant or your family  temporarily loses an income stream, it’s important to look at your new financial situation and create a new budget, reduce your outgoings and manage your debts. Our information on dealing with changes at work could help.


Rise in rent: Your landlord can increase your rent when your contract comes up for renewal. Although  they should give you a fair warning, you could find the situation more manageable in the short term if you’ve budgeted for increased rental costs.


Home repairs: Whether it’s wear and tear on an older property, or your home has been damaged by a storm or flood, finding the funds for household repairs can sometimes be difficult. Budgeting for this type of work can help you get your home back to its  best, without stretching your short term finances.  


Illness: If you or a family member becomes ill, there can be a wide range of  financial knock-on effects to consider. Hopefully you’ll never have to use it, but having a budget set aside should this happen can give you peace of mind.

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