A Family Budget Example to Help You Create a Budget

family budget sample

Sample Family Budget

When you are starting on your budgeting and financial freedom journey, it can be hard to know where to start.

Creating a budget is a very personal process. Mostly because it is a true reflection of your financial life and where your focus is. And having a budget is a MUST for achieving financial goals and, ultimately, financial freedom.

But what if you don’t really know where to start with creating a budget? Where do you even begin?

Well, it can be super helpful to look over someone’s shoulder to see how they do their budget, so that you can get ideas for how to start your own.

That is what I want to do for you today. I want to invite you to look over my shoulder, so to speak, and see an example of how we do our monthly family budget.

In this post I am going to show you our real budget numbers–our true, real life family budget example. I will also explain a few details along the way that will allow you to see where we are in our financial journey, and where we are headed.

So, let’s get started!

Real Life Family Budget Example

In this sample budget I am going to show you where our money goes each and every month. But remember, everyone is on their own financial journey. For instance, we are debt free. But we weren’t always that way.

I want you to get a sense for how a budget works, not focus on the specific dollar amounts. Different parts of the country will have differing expenses for the same category.

Use what you learn to start making decisions for YOUR money. 

Sample of Family Household Fixed Expenses

Whenever you start working on your budget, you want to start with your fixed expenses. These are the expenses that are the same month after month. They do not vary or fluctuate–you always know what they are going to be. Below are the fixed expenses for this sample budget.

Rent/Mortgage $1500 per month.

We currently rent the home we live in. And for the house we have and the average rental rate, we got a really good deal.

Internet: $55 per month.

We don’t have really fancy internet service. It is pretty basic but it allows us to stream videos on a few devices and do our usual online work, etc.

Phone: $111 per month.

This is for mine and my husband’s cell phones. We have a limited data plan and rarely go over it. I would like to find a way to get this down. So if you have any ideas, let me know!

Insurance: $105 per month.

This insurance bill includes the monthly premium for both of our cars, a life insurance policy for each of us and our renters insurance.

Natural Gas: $73 per month.

Most of our appliances, including our hot water heater and furnace use natural gas. We don’t have a choice about this since we are renting. But we do like it.

Please note here: Natural gas does fall into the utility category. Utilities CAN be either fixed or variable expenses. We have opted to have some of our utilities paid on the “budget” plan so that our bill is the same every month of the year. This helps us to better plan our budget and project our expenses months in advance. This may not be an option for everyone, or you may not want to do it this way. If your utility bill varies each month, then it should go in the variable expenses section of your budget. Some of our are fixed expenses, some are variable.

Garbage: $24 per month. This is for our city garbage can and recycling can.

PreSchool: $140 per month.

My daughter is currently in preschool just 2 days a week. And this expense will go away for the summer. But in the fall it will increase as she will be going 5 days a week.

Giving: $10 per month. We have a charity that we donate to every month. That is this item.

Sample Family Budget Variable Expenses

Now we move onto the variable expenses section of the sample budget. These are the expenses where the amount we pay each month changes. These expenses are important to track as they can be budget busters.

Groceries: $500 a month

My goal is actually to keep this below $500 a month, even down to $400. But I have 3 growing kiddos and keeping our grocery budget that low doesn’t always happen. To keep our grocery budget low, I meal plan and use my favorite grocery saving tips.

RELATED ARTICLE: Meal Planning for Beginners
RELATED ARTICLE: How to Save Money on Groceries

Electric: $60 per month.

Most months we don’t even spend this much on the electric bill. Since so much of our house uses natural gas, the electric is for our lights and outlets.

Water/Sewer: $95 per month.

I budget $95 for this because during the summer we are using more water for the grass. But most of the rest of the year we don’t spend this much.

This month we actually spent $77.28. So we have almost $20 in the budget to put towards our savings goals.

Gas: $150 per month.

Since we live, and work, in a small town, we don’t use a lot of gas in our cars. And over the past few months we have used less and less ( thank you pandemic shut down). This may need to increase as we have plans for the summer. But for now we are able to keep our gas bill low.

Fun: $200 per month.

We use the Fun budget for activities as a family outings, date nights, eating out as a family, etc. Many times this budget amount is also too much. But I like to be prepared, just in case.

Free Spend: $100 per month.

My husband and I each get $50 per month to spend however we please. Having this budget category is SUPER helpful for staying on budget. When you are allowed to spend some money, you don’t feel so restricted in your budget over all.

RELATED ARTICLE: Tips to help you stick to your budget

Tithing: $1104 Per Month.

Yes, that is a big number. But we give a tithe to our church every month. We are Christian and believe in the law of the tithe. We did it while we were paying off debt and found it did help, however counter-intuitive it sounds.

Miscellaneous: $100 per month.

This is a catch all budget category that allows me to absorb any unforeseen costs that come up throughout the month–kids birthday party, random small gifts for my kids or husband, things like that. It is definitely a budget saver!

Family Budget Example Savings Goals

We also have a few sinking funds and savings goals we are working towards. Planning for saving in your budget is SO IMPORTANT to help you make sure you are actually saving and not just wondering why you don’t have any money saved. The below savings goals are what we are currently saving for in this sample budget.

Christmas: $100 per month.

I got a late start on our Christmas fund this year. But doing $100 a month until the end of the year will get us back on track and leave us plenty for our Christmas celebrations.

Birthdays: $100 per month. We have 4 birthdays in our family before the end of the year. I want to make sure we are prepared for them.

Car Repairs: $100 per month. Cars always need maintenance and repairs. We actually have some repairs that need to be done. That is what happens when you have older cars. So I have set up a sinking fund to help us pay for these costs when they come up.

Back to School: $50 per month. You guessed it. This sinking fund will be used to buy school supplies, classroom supplies and anything else needed for back to school in September. (Anyone else excited for school to be back in session???)

Kids Clothing: $50 per month. Kids grow like weeds. I swear someone always needs a new pair of shoes. Or we don’t have clothing that fits them for the summer. So I keep a sinking fund going to pay for these items.

House Savings: $2500 per month. Last but not least, we are saving to buy or build a house. Whenever I have extra money in our budget, at the end of the month, I put it towards our house savings.

There you have it. You now can see an example budget of where we spend our money each month.

If you couldn’t tell, we are definitely in a saving mindset–with all our sinking funds and the big deposits towards our house fund.

But this wasn’t always the case. We spent several years throwing every last dime we could at our debt and trying to get to this point.

Every one is on their own journey. Your journey will be different than mine. You may be further ahead, you may be on the debt payoff stage. And that is okay!

The point is to keep going, keep working on your journey to get to where YOU want to be. 

Final Thoughts on a Family Budget Example

I hope you will use this budget example as a way to help you create your own budget and prioritize where your money needs to go.

The more you can plan how your hard earned dollars will work for you, the faster you will be able to reach your own financial goals.

I do hope to keep trimming down our expenses, but I’m not sure where. Any tips for me? Where do you spend less and how do you do it? Was this example of our family budget helpful? Let me know in the comments!

Family Budget Example