Managing the money for our home can be challenging, especially when unexpected expenses come up. Practical budgeting advice can make a big difference for homemakers like us.

Making a budget might seem like a lot of work, but with the right tools and attitude, it can help you feel more in control and relaxed at home, ultimately leading to greater financial freedom. By tracking your expenses and setting financial goals, you can make more informed decisions and work towards achieving the lifestyle you desire.

Woman wearing her apron and writing a budget down on paper

This guide provides simple tips for making a budget that works for your family, which can help you feel more secure and less stressed, even if you’re really busy.

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1. Understanding Your Household Expenses

Start Tracking Your Spending

It’s important to keep track of where your money goes to create a successful budget. By recording all of your expenses, you can identify any patterns and areas where you might be overspending.

You can use tools like budgeting apps, spreadsheets, or even a simple journal to help with this. For example, try jotting down every purchase you make for a week and then review it to find any unnecessary expenses.

Categorise Your Expenses

After tracking your spending, categorise it to better understand where your money goes. Common categories include groceries, utilities, transportation, entertainment, and housing. This makes it easier to pinpoint which areas may need adjustment.

You can use highlighters or digital tools to colour-code your expenses for easy visualisation.

A woman in her kitchen writing down a budget plan

2. Setting Up a Realistic Budget

Assessing Your Income

It’s important to know your total household income for realistic budgeting. This should include all sources of income, such as salaries, freelance work, and government benefits. Make sure to be accurate and include net income (after taxes) to clearly understand your monthly budget.

Creating a Monthly Budget Plan

First, it’s important to have a clear plan for how much money you have coming in every month. Then, you subtract the things you have to pay for, like rent, bills, and insurance.

After that, decide how much to spend on things like food and fun activities. And don’t forget to put some money into savings and pay off any debts you have.

Using tools like budgeting apps, spreadsheets, or printable budget planners (like my free one below) can make this process easier.

It’s also a good idea to talk to everyone in your family about the budget so everyone knows what’s going on and what they need to do.


3. Reducing Household Expenses

Grocery Shopping Tips

Buying groceries can be expensive, but there are ways to spend less without giving up on good food. Plan your meals and make a list before you go to the store to avoid buying things you don’t need.

Use coupons and store loyalty programs to save money. Buying bigger quantities of things and choosing store brands instead of well-known brands can also help you save money.

If you want to start saving money on your grocery budget, you’ll love these 12 ways to save money on groceries and my ultimate guide to stocking your pantry on a budget!

Windowsill filled with produce and groceries

Utility Savings

Save money by using less electricity and water. Remember to turn off lights when you’re not using them and take shorter showers. Buying energy-efficient appliances and insulating your home can also help reduce your costs.

Become a Frugal Homemaker

One of my top tips is to practice becoming a frugal homemaker. This doesn’t mean being cheap, but rather being smarter with your money. A key way to do this is by learning how to make things from scratch.

Discover 37 things frugal people make at home to save money.

Reduce Entertainment Costs

Entertainment doesn’t have to be costly. You can enjoy free or low-cost activities like visiting public libraries, parks, and community events. Hosting potluck dinners or family game nights can be just as enjoyable and much more affordable than dining out or going to the movies.

Consider cancelling subscriptions such as Netflix, Disney, or Amazon Prime or reducing them to one at a time.

Check local listings for free events and activities in your area, especially around the holidays.

Try some of these old-fashioned summer hobbies or my favourite cosy old-fashioned winter hobbies!

4. Increasing Household Income

Consider Starting a Side Hustle

Side hustles can be a fantastic way to add to your household income. Consider your skills and interests—freelancing, crafting, tutoring, or starting a small online business can be profitable.

Websites like Etsy, Upwork, and Fiverr offer platforms to market your skills. Balancing side hustles with homemaking responsibilities can be challenging but rewarding. Start small and see what works best for your schedule.

I started selling digital sewing patterns on Etsy, which developed into this blog, where I share my passion for homemaking, sewing, and recipes!

Declutter and Sell Unwanted Items

Decluttering your home can also improve your finances. You can sell any unused or unwanted items online using platforms like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or local garage sales.

Make sure your items are clean and in good condition to attract buyers. Pricing your items reasonably and taking good photos can increase your chances of making a sale.

Cosy living room with minimal items

5. Start Building an Emergency Fund

Importance of an Emergency Fund

Remember to have an emergency fund in place for financial stability. This fund is a safety net for unexpected expenses such as medical bills or car repairs.

Aim to save an amount equivalent to at least three to six months’ worth of expenses. Having this fund can help avoid going into debt during emergencies.

If that’s not attainable, try saving a few dollars when possible because it adds up over time.

A glass jar filled with emergency fund coins

How to Start Saving

Start by setting small, achievable savings goals. Automate your savings by setting up a direct deposit from your paycheck into a savings account. Even saving a small amount each month can add up over time.

6. Staying Motivated and Accountable

Set Financial Goals

Remember to set clear and achievable financial goals to stay motivated. Short-term goals could be saving for a vacation, while long-term goals might involve paying off debt, saving for a down payment on a house or paying off your mortgage quicker.

Write down your goals and review them regularly to stay focused.

  • Track your progress – Regularly review your budget and expenses to track your progress. Adjust your budget as needed to accommodate changes in income or expenses. Celebrate milestones, no matter how small, to help you stay motivated.
  • Involve your Family – Budgeting is a family effort. Encourage your spouse and children to participate by discussing financial goals and teaching them about money management. This will help with accountability and prepare your children for their financial futures.


Budgeting is more than just numbers. It’s about creating a secure and stable environment for your family. You can achieve financial peace by understanding your expenses, setting realistic budgets, cutting costs, and involving your family. Start today by implementing these practical tips, and watch your financial stress transform into financial freedom.

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