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Establishing a Family Budget – Part 1

12 January 2017

By Francisco J. Colayco

With the New Year, families may want to be more careful about their budget and keep track of their expenses every month.  They have to continue working on their financial goals as a family so this exercise should be with each member’s participation. Include your children if are old enough to understand.  Otherwise, you will never be successful.

I am assuming that you have done your Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net Worth so that you know where you are in your Financial Life.  If you have not done so, you can check out my books or visit for some guidance.

Let us review what each family should be doing to make their budget.  The first step is to make a list of the short-term goals.  For example, is a vacation or repair of your house part of your goals for the year?

Long-term goals should always include your retirement, no matter how young you are!

If you know how to use the computer, it will be very easier for you.  In fact, there are many computer programs that will help you keep a reconciliation of your checkbook, keep track of all your loans and investments so that you know at any one time how you are doing.  The program can also quickly show you if you are within budget or not for each specific item.

However, as in any computer, you have to diligently put in all the information and especially, in the beginning, this requires a lot of time and commitment.  After inputting all the initial information, you still have to be disciplined to input the daily information.  The computer is actually at the same time easy and difficult for budgeting.  You may end up following the regular manual method.

Here are some steps to follow.  It is always better to have a daily budget but this might be too tedious.  Therefore, a weekly or monthly basis might be more realistic.  The first step is to understand all the cash that you will receive.  Include the income of your family members if they are part of your budgeting process.

If you are an employee, it is your take-home pay.  Your company should have removed from your take home pay all the taxes, SSS, Philhealth, insurance and any other contributions you might be making to your company retirement plan etc. You should go to your Personnel Department and understand all of these deductions.  If, for example, you do not have tax deductions, understand this because you will definitely need to pay taxes.  It is always good to be covered by SSS, Philhealth, Pag-ibig, insurance. You will be surprised how much these can help you.  (More next issue)

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish us all a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2017!  Despite all the world problems, there is always hope as we continue to make Jesus Christ a part of our lives together with our family and closest friends.
Francisco J. Colayco is an entrepreneur, a venture developer and financial advisor.  He is the Author of Seven Bestsellers in the Pera Palaguin Series, the latest of which is now available in bookstores:  “Wealth Reached. Money Worked. Pera Mo, Pinalago Mo!” Find his works and catch him on TV and radio.  Check out:,,, FaceBook and Instagram.

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