Sep 9, 2011, 2:02 PM
One of the most wonderful feelings in the world is to enter an exquisite, fully equipped kitchen and have a rush of emotion into your head, an emotion which tells you without doubt that you are the lady of the house and the mistress of your kitchen. Wonderful, isn't it? But just like any other thing, the kitchen needs calculation to keep operating daily. During the Ramadan food prices become extremely high and it takes a very calculating housewife to budget for her family. The she she she gives the kudos to women and especially to mothers everywhere who are budgeting and making sure that their families eat a balanced diet to their satisfaction all year round.
Now getting down to real business, prudent management of the home entails the special skill of balancing income and expenditure. Income can be divided into two groups (a) Gross income (b) Net Income. The gross income is the sum total of the money from the various sources without any deduction, while the net income is the actual amount received.
Budgeting is the art of planning how the net income will be spent in such a way that the individual concerned will not run into any financial embarrassment before the next income. It is a process whereby all the expenses to be made are listed and the cost known. The experience gained from learning to manage small amounts of money while young will make budgeting easier when running one's home.
Budgeting enables the individual to form the habit of keeping accounts, encourages selective buying and minimizes the possibility of squandering money.
In preparing the family budget during Ramadan, attention must be paid to the family needs, which can be grouped into two: primary and secondary needs. The primary needs are those which can not be avoided or postponed e.g.: food, house, rent, school fees etc. While the secondary needs are those expenses which the family can do without e.g.: buying a pair of new shoes, dress, more furniture of course since the Eid el fitr is just at the corner. However, it must be pointed out that apart from food, what constitutes primary and secondary needs may vary from family to family.
Factors to Consider when budgeting for the family
The following factors should be put into consideration when planning the family budget:
A) The net income available
B) The nature of capital expenditure planned for
C) The taste of the family
D) The number of dependants in the family (size of family)
E) An invalid in the family.
Food wasn't expensive in the olden days, however, with the change of social life, most of the food requirements of the family are now purchased, and at very high prices. The consequence is that most families spend over half of their net income on food and especially now during the Ramadan it doubles up more than expected.
There is the need, therefore for the housewife to plan and prepare the food budget.
This is necessary to enable her reduce the family expenditure while at the same time provide a balanced menu for the family. The following factors must be considered when preparing the food budget:
1) The amount allocated for the food. (Money)
2) The taste of the various members of the family.
3) The nutritive requirements of the family as dictated by the composition of the family and their health.
4) The types of food in season, this could be used to add as substitutes for foods that are not in season since it is important to economize in this era.
5) Availability of substitutes to the various foodstuffs and ingredients
6) Storage facilities available in the house.
7) The relative price of commodities in different markets so as to know where they are cheapest.
So start working on your own budget for your family during the Ramadan when the family needs a balanced diet and through out the coming years just like the ideal wife you are, Bon Chance!