Then most people here the word budget, they cringe. They automatically think of it as restrictive clamp on the way you spend money. Well – in all honesty budgeting is a necessary evil; one that you will have to accept and adopt if you want to be successful with your money. Simply put, budgeting is telling your money where it should go, so that you do not have to wonder where it went. Simple right? Yet so many people have an issue with creating and maintaining a budget. Lets look at what goes into play when determining a budget
First thing on the list is to know exactly how much money is coming in every month. The first place people go wrong is going out and getting a bunch of expenses when in reality your expenses should not be determined until you know what you can afford. For some its as easy as adding the two direct deposits that come each month from your employer; but for others it may be a little more complicated. They may have fluctuating income based upon the amount of hours they work or may receive small amounts of income from several different sources. Whatever the amount is, and wherever it comes from, you are going to want to get a crystal clear as possible with a number that you expect on average to come in each month so that you can plan out your expenses accordingly.
There is a cost to live in this beautiful world, and most would agree that it isn’t cheap. From rent, to cell phone bills and student loans, it can quickly add up. In addition to all of your fixed expenses you will have to account for other expenses as well such as groceries, gas for your car and if you’re lucky an entertainment budget. As we have more post that are added to the site in the future, you will see that I am all for you having fun and enjoying your life, but you just need to properly plan for them so they do not get you in trouble. Once you have a locked in on what your monthly expenses are, then you have the framework for a solid budget.
What about the leftovers?
If you are lucky, when its all said and done you will have some money left over after expenses. This is where the magic happens. 11 times out 10 (yes I meant that) when people sit down and really look at what expenses they have, how much income they are bringing in and see what they should be having left over at the end of the month vs what actually is; they get a bad feeling in their stomach. ‘Where is my money going?” Well money has this funny way of finding a way to spend itself if it doesn’t have a purpose. So just like all of your expenses, when it comes to saving money, each dollar needs to be accounted for. Whether it’s for investing, emergencies, or some non-revolving foreseeable expenses – give it a title. You will also want to keep track of all of this some how whether it be a spreadsheet, or writing out on pen and paper. In a future post, I will discuss some tools that may be helpful and I will give you some rhythm and reason behind what might be a good way to start getting a handle on the surplus that’s left over each month and actually, well, have some left over.
Got some questions about budgeting? Leave a comment below.