Basic Financial Planning for Newlyweds




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Step 3: Prepare Your Monthly Cash Flow Budget


Your Initial Financial Plan:

Have You Read.....

The Budget Kit

One of the best-loved roadmaps in the budget management genre, The Budget Kit is purchased year in and year out by its legions of dedicated fans who have learned to make budgeting as second nature as breathing. Judy Lawrence makes it easy, with this proven workbook for getting your financial house in order.

Covering everything from daily expenses to retirement and investments, child support, medical expenses, mail order purchases, gift giving, and tax deductible expenses, it offers an overall view of personal and family finances in monthly and yearly snapshots.

More than 50 graphs, forms and charts make the budgeting concepts crystal clear, and embody the hands-on attitude necessary to take charge of personal financial management.

To order this book from Barnes&, click on The Budget Kit

- or -

Family Budget Workbook: Gaining Control of Your Personal Finances

Tired of bouncing checks, skyrocketing credit, or depletion of your savings account? Larry Burkett, a respected authority on finances, creates the breakthrough manual you need to regain control of your personal budget.  

To order this book from Barnes&, click on Family Budget Workbook: Gaining Control of Your Personal Finances


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Most people earn pretty much the same amount of money each month.  In addition, excluding vacations and big ticket items, most people spend the same amount of money each month as well.  If you fit that description, then putting together your monthly cash flow budget should be a piece of cake.

When preparing your budget, you need to project your cash inflows and outflows on a monthly basis.   You then subtract your projected outflows from your projected inflows to determine whether you're working at a surplus or a deficit.

If your inflows exceed your outflows, you'll allocate the monthly surplus to your savings and debt reduction goals in Step 4

If you calculate that you're working at a deficit, you have three options.  You can cut some monthly expenses, find another source of income, or continue living temporarily knowing that your monthly outflows will (temporarily) exceed your inflows.

Your inflows might include:

  • Salaries and wages

  • Self-employment income

  • Investment income that's not re-invested

  • Rental income

Your outflows might include:

  • Auto expenses, including loans/leases, fuel, maintenance and repairs, and insurance

  • Home expenses, including your minimum monthly mortgage payment or rent, utilities, home repair and supplies, and cleaning and maintenance

  • Minimum monthly debt payments including credit cards, student loans, and equity loans (see below)

  • Children's expenses, including clothing, toys, baby food, and diapers

  • Everything else including clothing, dining and entertainment, gifts, groceries, health and beauty, and insurances.

To help you prepare your monthly cash flow budget, please view our completed example or print out our blank template.   If you have Microsoft Excel, you can download the completed example and the blank template on budget.xls.

Why Use Only the Minimum Debt Payments In This Step?

The purpose of your budget is to calculate how much extra money you'll have left over each month to allocate to your various savings and debt reductions goals.  If you'd like to allocate additional money to any of your debts, you'll do so in Step 4: Setting Your Savings and Debt Reduction Goals.

Time Saving Tip:  Using a program such as Quicken or Microsoft Money makes this step much easier. 


Still Burdened With Student Loan Debts?

If so, check out to find out if you're a candidate to consolidate your student loans.  Consolidating might make sense to you if you meet the following criteria:

  • You currently have $10,000 or more in student loan debt. (Even one student loan can be consolidated.)

  • You wish to lower your monthly payments.

  • You'd like to make one convenient payment instead of several.

  • You prefer to take advantage of the low interest rates currently available and focus on paying off other unsecured debts such as high interest-rate credit cards.

  • You're looking to purchase a home and want to lower your monthly payments to qualify for a better mortgage.

What Type of Loans Can be Consolidated?

Stafford and PLUS, Perkins Loans, Federal Insured Student Loans (FISL), Health Professional Student Loans (HPSLs), Loans for Disadvantaged Students(LDS), Federal Direct Loans, National Direct Student Loans (NDSL), Nursing Student Loans (NSL)

If you're considering consolidating your student loans, check out for plenty of information about student loan consolidation plus lots of great on-line tools as well.


How About a Joint Credit Card?

Many newlyweds, to simplify their finances, open a joint credit card account.  Did you realize that there are a whole bunch of different credit card programs available?  Luckily, the Internet has made it easy to compare different credit card opportunities that are available to you. 

Discover Card Platinum Application




Here's some additional articles about budgeting that you might find interesting:


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