Well it is Money Monday and I want to speak on budgeting. Last week I shared with you guys that I no longer have a full time job. Clearly that means that there will be income missing and I now need to restructure my budget. I am a firm believer in having a budget and find it hard to function without one. It goes hand in hand with me needing to have a plan, and anyone who knows me, knows that one of my favorite questions is “What is your plan?” I have to have a plan and I have to know that you have a plan.
Have you heard the saying “You have to tell your money where to go”? That’s what a budget does, you are making a plan of where your money needs to go. When you don’t make those plans the money just seems to disappear and you have no idea where it went. And you don’t know where it went because you didn’t designate a place for it. A budget will give you the best insight on the money coming in and out of your household. It will also give you the best start on saving and reaching your financial goals.
Preparing a budget does not have to be hard or complicated. I know there are all types of forms and software programs that can be used, but they are not a requirement. Honestly the ones I have come across are fairly easy to use, and might actually make the process easier. You can use a simple spreadsheet or where I started was handwriting it and drawing lines. It may take time for a beginner to get their total budget down, but you can start in some of the most simple ways.
The first thing I suggest doing is preparing a list of your monthly bills plus expense and then subtracting that from what you bring home per month. Certain bills might vary per month just as well as your pay might, but the difference generally isn’t that much. Take a look at what you should have left over. You need to figure out where that money is going, and where you really need it to be going. Comb through your statements and see where the money is going. If your statements don’t show it, then maybe it’s time to start getting your receipts and stashing them so that are able to look at them later.
Another way to start is by making a plan for your next check. If you get paid weekly, every 2 weeks etc, make a plan of what you need to take care of with that single check. Don’t list anything that will be paid with the following check, simply tell that next check where it’s going and get it there. There is no single way to get it done because every individual is different. Find the method that works best for you, but implement it as a regular part of your life.