You may be comfortably fixed at the moment, but anything could happen to change that at any time. Creating and sticking to a budget will help you manage your finances, so you don’t have to worry about the what-if’s.
Key to any guide for managing your budget is coming up with a plan suitable for your household. You should also set aside an emergency fund of at least three to six months of your household expenses.
Here’s how to get started.
Creating a Budget
When you create a budget, it’s important to do some calculations. You have to figure out the amount of money you make each month and come up with a budget. Once you have that amount, you have to add up your rent or mortgage, the amount you spend on clothing, entertainment, gas, groceries, utilities, phone, cable, and any other bills you have. Add debt such as credit card bills to that list.
Subtract the total amount of your expenses from the total amount of money you make a month, and then you have your monthly budget. Now you can tweak your budget a bit. Look over your finances and remove the things you can live without. For example, you don’t need to go out to eat once a week or go out to the movies twice a week. Look at how much you’re spending on entertainment and see if you can cut the most expensive item you have.
Whether you’re able to put in 20 dollars or 20 cents a month, every little bit helps. This fund will go towards any car repairs you need, hospital bills, or in case you lose your job and you need help. In other words, it’s for needs, rather than wants.
You may be wondering how you can create an emergency fund if you don’t have extra money to put in there. It’s simple. You don’t need to put in thousands of dollars on the spot. Look through your budget for things you can cut. Shift that money into an emergency fund. You’ll find additional information on this topic at https://www.bills.com.
The last step in this guide to managing your budget is the follow through. On a sticky note, put a total of the amount of bills you have to pay for that month. Also put the amount you’re able to put in your emergency fund for the month. Each month start your budget over again. Be sure to put the sticky note somewhere where you can see it every day.
Each time you go to the store or pay a bill, subtract that amount from your total. When it’s at zero, then you cannot spend money on anything else for the rest of the month. If it helps, break your bills into sections so you can subtract whatever you bought from that section. It will also help you see things a little more clearly.
No matter the amount of money you have in your bank account or the number of people in your household, everyone could use a budget. As your household grows, your budget should be scaled to feed and clothe those people. Make sure you have an emergency fund in case of emergencies and to follow through with your budget. If you don’t follow through, there’s no point in having one.
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