Your money is coming IN and OUT and you have no idea where your salary went? Are you falling behind on bills and can barely make minimum payments? Do you feel like you don’t have the money to go out and about and enjoy life? Well, you might want to make a budget!
A budget can help you manage your money, overview spending, and spare some coins for your savings account.
Budgeting is important in case you:
- Can’t figure out where your money is going
- Have no money left to save month after month
- Are falling behind on bills
- Finances are giving you a headache
- Want to plan a vacation or your next big purchase but your pocket won’t allow it
It is difficult to start doing something new even for bettering our financial situation and trust me, when I started my own budget, it helped me with the following:
- Being aware of how much money is coming in each month
- Breaking down spending in categories such as monthly bills, food, fun, savings
- Pay down debt
- Automatically reduced stress
- Having enough money to enjoy living and feeling in control of own finances
Now it’s time that you try figuring out your spending and starting a budget. Here are the key things to consider before starting your budget:
Your financial goal
There are two major types of goals, short-term and long-term. Your goals might look like this:
- Paying off your credit cards
- Set a strategy to reduce weekly expenses
- Open a savings account
- Paying off all your debt (credit cards, loans, collections, etc.)
- Saving for your next big purchase (house, car, trip)
- Saving to start a family and retirement money
Tip: The unexpected happens. Illness, injury, death, job loss can be prevented with an emergency account. This is where you save to have coverage for at least 6 months and prevent getting a big hit on your finances. Ask us how to build an emergency fund and start saving.
Track where your money is going
It’s easy to tap, tap, tap, and suffer the stress when your bills come in at the end of the month. Therefore, you need to keep track of every dollar you spend.
Let’s say that you’re buying a muffin everyday from your favorite bakery or coffee shop. If you spend $2 a day, if will cost you around $760 a year. This is where your budget comes into place and finding different solutions to spend less. It’s as easy as going to the store and buying a dozen muffins for half of the price.
Small changes like this will help you save more and more with time and achieve your financial goals.
Is it a need or want?
When starting to budget, it’s important to list the things that you really need and put a pause on things that you want.
When saying that you “need” something, that means it is necessary to your living. Items such as food, water, etc.
When saying that you “want” something, you must really analyze if it’s necessary. Items such as your 50th pair of shoes, eating out every night, etc.
Taking this good look at what you need and want makes you ready to start your budget.
Create a budget and stick to it
Now that you received all this good information, you’re ready to start working your budget. Take a pen and a paper or open a blank document and start imputing your monthly income, bills, expenses. Remember, every penny spent outside your budget is going to affect it. Sticking to your budget will help you reach financial freedom over time. There are many tools out there, templates, and financial advisors to help you figure out your budget. Don’t be shy and use your resources.