Would you like to save more money? Do you need to save more money? Do you know how much you spend each year? Month? Day? If any of these questions are a concern, budgeting is for you! I will show you an easy guide on how to budget.
What Is A Budget?
You hear about budgeting every time you hear about saving money. But what exactly is a budget and how do I make one? A budget is basically an estimate of your income and the expenditures of that money over a period of time. Say you make 200 dollars a month and you want to spend all 200 dollars on groceries. That is your budget.
If you spend more than $200 dollars, you went over the amount you were supposed to spend on your budget. This is a bad thing. Spending less than 200 dollars means you went under your budget. This is good because it means you saved money.
What Goes Into A Budget?
First, we will look into what goes into one. A budget consists of 3 parts.
- Spending Money
Expenses– this is what you HAVE to pay every month to fund your living situation, so rent, utilities, phone bill, medication, gas, Netflix, clothes, school, daycare, etc. Some expenses are more important than others, therefore, may need to be adjusted if necessary. Grandma needs money for medication, not Netflix and Hulu. Gas is kind of tricky because it may drip into spending money. Adjust however you see fit.
Spending Money – Everybody needs a little fun in their life. This should be the category that is the least important. Your spending money is composed of going out to eat, bowling, movies, bars, clubs, fishing equipment, Xbox games, car modifications, etc. Everything that doesn’t interfere with your current living situation goes here.
Savings – This may be the most important or not so much important reason for budgeting. THIS CATEGORY SHOULD NOT BE IGNORED THOUGH! Everybody should save money for the future, at any pay level. You never know if the house will burn down, or if you need to go to the hospital. We save for these unexpected instances. Savings can also be used for big purchases (if your finances are good enough) like vacations or a new car. Living paycheck to paycheck? You can save just 5 dollars every paycheck. It will add up, I promise. Even if you are in debt, you should be saving to not be in debt.
- Before we start to make
What Do I Need?
Short and simple, you need to know how much money you earn each month. Additionally, you should know what your goals are. Are you saving to get out of debt, to be more structured, to save for a certain event or object, to know where your money is going, or to just have more money in your bank account? Keep your goals in mind when making your budget.
Rules And Methods
You may know about the 50/20/30 rule, the 28/36 rule, or the many other methods available. My friends from debtandcupcakes actually talk more about the limitations of the 50/20/30 plan. understanding is that every person and situation is different and so should their methods. Sometimes, our spending money is very important to the upkeep of our physical and mental health. But, the majority of your money has to go into either your savings or expenses. No buts!
All you need to get started is a pen and paper. You can also use your phone, tablet, or laptop as well. You don’t need a program like C++ to make a budget. It can be very simple! This is sort of what it should look like:
Earnings: $1500 per month
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Exp 900 900 900 900 900 900 900 900 900 900 900 900 = $10,800
Spe 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 350 350 350 = $3,750
Sav 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 250 250 250 = $3,450
Exp= Expenses Spe= Spending money Sav= Savings
So this person saved $3,470 in a year! Going from saving $0 dollars to $3,470 in a year, it’s quite an improvement. This is why it’s so important to know how to budget your money!
Budgeting also help keep people out of debt!
Be aware, in my budget, that some months may need more spending money. You may need more on certain holidays, birthdays, or special events. I also was very conservative with savings as well. Note if your expenses change, so should everything else. Adjust as needed for every situation.
These are a list of tools available on how to budget:
Mint– This is my top recommendation! Mint is a FREE, very easy to use tool that is extremely versatile. The creators are intuit ( theTurboTax company), so you know you can trust them. It’s available on PCs, tablets, and phones in the app store.
Microsoft Excel- All you need to do point and input in the boxes you want to change. To change the size of the box, click on the black line that separates the two boxes. Simply slide the box to the right to expand. Excel can get difficult to use, but it doesn’t have to be. Be simple!
Wally– This is also a great app for knowing how to budget. If you are in debt or often get into debt, Wally gives you suggestions on what to do. Wally is another FREE app for anyone to use. Make sure to download their app and try them out.
You can also make a budget using a template. Using templates is one of the simplest ways on how to make a budget. Just print the budget template out, and fill in your information. If you are using a computer, import the template onto Microsoft Word, fill in your information, then print it out.
Here are some great templates to make a budget:
These are awesome templates from debtandcupcakes
Templates if you have Microsoft Word.
10 Free Print Outs from thesavvycouple.com
Arrestyourdebt’s awesome and easy templates
It doesn’t matter what budget method you go with. The most important part is to just make a budget! Trust me, your bank account will thank you.
Thanks for reading everybody. I would love to see any comments or suggestions you guys have. Be sure to check back soon for new site updates and articles.