Planning a Family Budget – How To Involve Every Member of Your Family!

Traditionally, one adult in the family is responsible for money management. That person pays the bills when they are due, keeps an eye on the bank accounts and buys food and necessities that are within the family’s budget.

The problem with this approach is that one person makes the decisions and that person also takes on all the responsibility. It can be stressful and lead to disagreements and resentment

If the husband handles all the financial matters and does none of the shopping, he may not understand how much it costs for basic necessities. If the wife is handling the checkbook and doling out funds to other family members the husband may resent having no control over money he earns.

Old Method

This old fashioned budgeting method has worked for many years in families where the limits of spending are clearly defined.

If there are rules about how much money is available to spend on food, on entertainment or eating out, on personal care and hobbies the person paying the bills has only to go online or write a check.

It’s this traditional method of allocating a “job” to one person that often results in arguments over credit card charges. In families where disagreements about money are frequent, credit cards may be used as weapons.

One partner may use the card in wild shopping binges even though they know it’s not wise. For some people, overcharging to their credit cards is a way to seek attention.

Involve Your Children!

Perhaps the greatest risk in not including the entire family in budget planning is that children may grow up without learning basic money management skills.

If they are left out of the discussions and the decisions on spending – how are they then supposed to learn?

With more two earner families another method of family budgeting developed. In this scenario, each spouse maintains his own bank accounts and each contributes a share of the family expenses into a household account each payday.

This is a workable system for two adults who are capable of personal finance management. This method provides privacy that some adults feel is necessary but can also result in secretive behavior and overspending.

To make a family as financially strong as possible the best method of budgeting involves the entire family. Hiding excessive debt from your children is a bad idea.

Without the knowledge of a problem they have no incentive to cut back on their lifestyle or their expectations of what they can buy or do.

If you have excessive credit card debt that is in danger of ruining your family’s financial future it’s important to be open and honest with family members. You might be surprised at the reaction of your children when they learn there is a real problem.

Present the debt problem as a family problem that you will solve together. Explain the need to cut back on unneeded purchases and to find ways to save money to pay off the debt.

The debt is your enemy and you are asking for a united family to defeat this foe. It becomes a challenge and even young children will see it as an adventure and find ways to save money.

Share The Budget Problems With Your Teenagers

If your family has teenagers, I recommend you to be totally open about how you got into debt and share with them the real costs of running your home and providing necessities.

The facts presented clearly will help teens understand why there is a need to stop buying everything they want and why previously indulgent parents now say “no” to a request for money. You can’t expect family support without sharing information.


A family working together can solve credit card debt problems. Make it a family project and encourage each person to contribute ideas to add to the budget. When the debt is conquered, don’t forget to schedule a family celebration!