Get an accurate picture of your total monthly income.
Knowing exactly how much income you have each month is essential to maintaining a balanced budget for your household. People often think only of paychecks when it comes to income, but in fact you can have several different sources of income that all come together to give you the stable foundation you need.
The table below can help you total up all of your regular income sources so you can get an accurate measure of your total monthly income. This is a first step in building an effective household budget. You can print the sheet and fill in the numbers so you know exactly how much you have coming in every month.
Important note: Budgeting is usually best done by month, so all totals listed below should be calculated out for a monthly total. If you have yearly, semi-annual or quarterly income you should divide the amount received by 12, 6 or 3 respectively.
|Income Source||Weekly / Bi-Weekly Amount||MONTHLY TOTAL|
|Your net wages (take home)||$||$|
|Partner’s net wages||$||$|
|Social Security benefits||$||$|
Additional notes about income:
Increasing income to balance your budget
If your budget isn’t balanced correctly – i.e. you’re spending more than you earn each month, you basically have two options. You either have to reduce your expenses or find ways to increase your income.
While this may sound like throwaway advice, it’s a fact that most people don’t have enough focus on maximizing income in their daily lives. We often fail to negotiate effectively for salary and once we get comfortable in a job we may not be willing to walk away to secure more income.
If you have no negotiated recently with your boss for raise, put together some notes on what you’ve contributed to the company since your last raise. Then go online to check salary ranges for your position in your area. This will help you get an idea if you’re on target for pay or if you’re being undercut. Use this information to negotiate with your boss to get a raise – even if you’d rather do anything but ask for it.
And if your boss turns you down, it may be time to move on to greener pastures. Take time to get your finances and your resume ready, then transition to a new job that offers salary that’s both competitive and better for your budget. Following that, make sure to build savings so you can avoid problems if you have income fluctuations down the road.