If you find that you are never quite sure what is in your bank account or you guess at what your weekly food shop is going to cost you, then you need to get a budget in your life. It is so surprising just what a difference writing down something on a spreadsheet or a budgeting app can do for your finances. You know exactly where you are with things and what you have to spend where. Having a budget can also help you to clear any debt that you might have, as you can figure out exactly how much you can spare each month to pay it off. So if this sounds like a good deal to you (and who wouldn’t think so)? Then this post is for you. Here are some simple steps to help you set and build a budget in a way that you’ll want to stick to it.
Start With Income
Start with how much money is coming into the home each month. Wages, interest from savings, and any benefits, for example. This should all be figured out at how much you get after paying tax, as you can’t budget off a yearly salary when some of that is never anything that you have in your bank account. Don’t include any pay raises that you presume will happen because you never know if they will. Just include what money you know you definitely have.
Now it comes to your monthly spending. Checking previous bank statements will tell you how much you pay for things like mortgage or rent, heating, petrol, internet, and phone bills each month. So you can deduct those things straight away. Then you need to look at what is left over and what is left over to buy. Groceries, nappies, contingency money, and even money to set aside to either save or pay off debt. It all needs to be accounted for. But what is important, is making sure that you aren’t spending more than you have coming in each month.
Look For Ways To Reduce Spend
No matter what you spend each month, you can always look for ways to reduce costs. You can look for ways to reduce how much you spend on things like groceries and even paying off debt. A site like consolidated.credit can help you with the latter if that is a concern of yours. But cutting down spend can be quite achievable when you put your mind to it. Do you need cable TV or that extra coffee on the way to work each morning? Make a plan and then stick to it.
Expect The Unexpected
In the section talking about what money you spend, contingency money is mentioned. Basically, this is anything ‘unexpected’ that might arise that you need to pay for. Your car might need a new tyre, or there is a school trip that you need to pay for. So always be looking to set aside some money for the unexpected things. This article has some great ideas if you’re unsure of how to go about it thesimpledollar.com/little-steps.