family-meeting

I recently posted about how we go about organising our household finances. What I didn’t go into was when we actually sit down to update and review our budget.

Every Sunday morning we sit down with a tea or coffee and laptop/iPad and categorise our transactions and see which areas we’re on track with and which we might need to work on.

After we’ve updated the budget, we discuss any issues/projects and plan our schedules and social events. The idea is that when we’re done, our finances, calendars and to-do lists are all up to date.

The whole process usually takes around half an hour, but if we have time we then spend a bit longer working on a ‘current project’ such as holiday planning (fun!) or doing the filing (admittedly not so fun). Sometimes we’ll really get into the swing of it and achieve a lot.

It’s only the two of us but we call it our Family Meeting as we think of ourselves as a little family. Of course there are other things we’d rather be doing with our weekend but it only takes a short time and is well worth it. We’ve been doing it for around six months and we’ve definitely noticed an improvement in organisation and communication. We even schedule it on our calendars so that we stick to it.

Do you have any kind of regular family meeting or budget review?

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2 Responses

  • This is such a fantastic idea. I wish I knew about it 20 years ago.

    I went back to your previous post and am wondering how you feel about Xero for family budgets. I, too, am disillusioned with Quicken and am trying to find another system.

    • Hi Kyle, I’m glad you appreciated it… even if it was a couple of decades too late!
      I had fallen into an unfortunate trap of feeling guilty about every dollar I spent. Now, I simply check the little monthly progress bars and if we still have money left in that category then we can plan a dinner with friends or buy some new clothes or something for the house without feeling guilty. Xero is so much more user-friendly than Quicken and it’s web-based which is really convenient. Xero is from New Zealand so it’s really good about catering for the Australian market (taxation requirements etc) but since you’re in the US you could look into some of the alternatives there like Outright or Shoeboxed. Any other questions, feel free to ask!

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