Let’s get right down to it. Everyone needs to have a budget plan. Whether you are good or bad with money, or if you have debt or a huge savings account, a budget plan will help you get to your financial sweet spot.
I am the first to admit that I’ve always been bad with money. I can’t save a dime, and my husband is as frugal as they come, so I’ve had to learn to keep our money in check and save, save, save!
15 minutes, and you’ll be ready to begin saving! The timer starts now!
Here’s what you need to figure into your budget:
- Recurring monthly Bills
Tip: If you don’t receive paper bills, look at your bank statement for the last full month. (Ex: if it’s the middle of April, you’ll want to look at the full month of March to get every single payment)
- Calculate your Monthly Income
It may vary month-to-month if you have an hourly wage, but keep this number generic and estimate low. Extra money is better than not enough money.
Calculate it like this: ((Hourly Wage x Average Hours per Week) x 52)/12
- Other Recurring Expenses
Gas, groceries and other household necessities add up each month, but they are pretty important. Make sure you always factor these into your budget.
- Extra Expenses
These would be expenses that are not necessary, but usually come up for everyone. They would include dinners out, movies with friends, or getting your hair done.
Tip: These expenses should come last, every single time. What’s more important to you? The new car you’ve been saving for or those $200 highlights?
Building Your Budget
With the information you’ve collected, now you can figure out how much money you actually have left over each month. The best ways to keep all of this information organized is on a super easy budget tracker or simple spreadsheet.
Start by adding up all of your monthly expenses. Then, subtract your total expenses from your total monthly income.
How much do you have left over? Save it, spend it, pay down your debt faster and with less interest, or donate it to charity. Whatever you decide to do, now you have a clear picture of your finances, and it feels so good!