Our household budget definitely does not keep us captive, it sets us free.  We budget so that we are free from the worry of paying bills.   We want to plan our spending so that we pay all our bills on time and this helps us to see clearly how much money is left over (if any) to enable us to make decisions on any other purchases at any time.  We chose to set out a budget using the free online tool, BillsManager, which made it easy for us to understand how much money we needed to set aside monthly towards all our household bills.

We update our BillsManager budget account on a monthly basis and it automatically updates our budget if any of the bills paid in the month are over or less than what we have planned they would be.  We can check how we are doing in relation to our annual spending at any stage in the month and armed with this information we can see if we can afford that new TV or buy those concert tickets.

We have included a summer holiday savings in our BillsManager budget which means we are saving towards our family holiday on a monthly basis and know that come June, we have that money set aside to enjoy without affecting our cash flow.  In fact, we add the not so traditional bills into our plan also and if we have forgotten an expense, we just add it in as it occurs, that way it will be provided for the next time the expense falls due.  For instance, I find that around the children’s birthdays, money seems to just haemorrhage from our pockets. We have included birthday savings with due dates the month before each of their birthdays.  This way the money has been saved over the previous 12 months and you can sleep easy knowing their special day is provided for.  Not all bills are drudgery and if you plan for special treats or occasions, they are more enjoyable knowing you don’t have to worry about the bill!