Ms Masters earns a salary of J$40,000 each month after all statutory deductions have been made. She is a single parent with two children ages 2 years and 14 years who both live with her. She gets J$5,000 per month for child support. She pays J$7,000 per month for rental, uses both electricity and water and has a loan with a furniture store for which she pays J$516 per year. She does not have a landline telephone.

1. Prepare a monthly budget for Ms Masters that would account for the needs of each person in the family. If an Item is not in the budget, give a reasonable explanation of how that need would be met.

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Pre- Preparation

What is a Budget?

A (home) budget is a financial plan of one’s income and expenses, usually expressed over a period of one month. After adding up all your sources of income, you have established the total amount of money you have to spend. Next total all of your individual monthly expenses. This may range from your rent or mortage right down to a daily snack or newspaper. Your budget can be as simple or complex as you want it to be.

Purposes of a budget

Individuals plan/make a budget in order to:

1. guide and organize one’s spending

2. recognize and correct areas of overspending and waste

3. avoid impulse buying, i.e. buying items that you do not want or haven’t planned to buy.

Benefits of a Budget

Effective budgeting would most likely gain these benefits:

1. The family will become more financially stable as areas of waste will be eliminated.

2. Money will be readily available whenever an incident arises such as accidents.

3. Family will now be ‘living within their means’ as it relates to having what they need as well as a little money put aside.

A typical Budget usually consists of:

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1. Rent/Mortages

2. Food and Drink

3. Utility bills

4. Medical Expenses

5. Entertainment

6. Household supplies

A typical budget may be exclusive of:

1. Accessories

2. Foot wear

3. Pocket Money Allowances

4. Partnership payments

________________

Ms Master’s monthly Budget

Total income

Income

Total J$

Net pay

40,000

Child support

5,000

TOTAL

$45,000

Ms Master’s monthly income is J$45,000.

Ms Master’s Budget

Expenditure

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Total

Rent

$1,750

$1,750

$1,750

$1,750

$7,000

Hire Purchase Loan

$516

$516

$516

$516

$2,064

Landline Telephone

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

$0

Son aged 2 yrs

$1,250

$1,250

$1,250

$1,250

$5,000

Son aged 14 yrs

$2,250

$2,250

$2,500

$2,250

$9,000

Transportation

$500

$500

$500

$500

$2,000

Savings

$1,500

$1,500

$1,500

$1,500

$6,000

Food

$2,000

$2,000

$2,000

$2,000

$8,000

Medical Insurance

$1,000

$1,000

$1,000

$1,000

$4,000

Household Supplies

$400

$400

$400

$400

$1,600

Miscellaneous

$84

$84

$84

$84

$336

How the money is spent on the 2 year old

Items

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Pampers

$500

$500

$500

$500

Baby food

$600

$600

$600

$600

Miscellaneous

$150

$150

$150

$150

TOTAL

$1,250

$1,250

$1,250

$1,250

How the money was spent on the 14 year old

Items

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Lunch Money

$1,500

$1,500

$1,500

$1,500

Transportation

$500

$500

$500

$500

Stationeries

$100

$100

$100

$100

Piggy Bank Savings

$100

$100

$100

$100

Personal business

$50

$50

$50

$50

TOTAL

$2,250

$2,250

$2,250

$2,250

________________

Areas that were excluded from this Budget and possible reasons as to why:

1. Clothes- the need for clothes is not really a necessity on a regular monthly basis especially if your income is low and you’re responsible for other individuals with different needs.

2. Recreational Activities- engaging in activities like these may cause a deficit in one’s budget unless your income is high. It also depends on how many expenses you have to cover.

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________________

Reflection

The gathering of resources to conduct this research was one of the problems that I, the researcher, faced. I was also hindered by the fact that I did not readily understand what to do and had to ask my classmates for explanations. My local area network connection kept rising and falling at intervals causing my internet access to become very slow.

While conducting this research, I found out the planning a family budget is important in managing and controlling the income and expenditure of one’s total income. As a budget allows an individual to identify areas on which they overspend and avoid impulsive buying, benefits such financial stability and the ability to save more can be reaped. I have learnt that not only budgeting for oneself is important but also for individuals for which you are responsible. This will assure effective budgeting.

Based on previous and presently gained knowledge, I implore individuals to engage in budgeting as it very wise thing to do. Since the fundamental problem of sacristy is always arising, individuals should ensure that they use their resources to cover their needs at an opportunity cost of their wants and luxuries. As mentioned earlier, when budgeting one should outline his/her area(s) of income and highlight his/her expenses. However, it is wise to take out a portion for savings so that you can always have money to assist you in emergencies. Effective budgeting is evident to have helped individuals to rise above ‘financial paralysis’ over the years as well as helped individuals to manage their income’s liquidity. A budget has no specific group of individuals for which it is successful, once done correctly it will be of good use. This is similar to the statement that implies “if it has worked for others, it will work for you”.