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Your Complete Guide to Creating a Monthly Budget in 2020

Start Budgeting

Follow these simple steps and start Budgeting:

  • Choose the right tool (Budgeting App, Excel sheet or Envelopes)
  • Gather all information like your bank and investment account numbers, user id's, and passwords.
  • Make a list of all your income sources and all your expenses.
  • Share the important financial and budgeting details with your partner or spouse if applicable.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Your Complete Guide to Creating a Monthly Budget in 2020

Your Complete Guide to Creating a Monthly Budget in 2020

https://www.listenmoneymatters.com/monthly-budget/

listenmoneymatters.com

5

Key Ideas

A Monthly Budget For Your Money

No matter how little or how much money you earn, creating a monthly budget is one of the most important aspects of managing your finances. What gets measured gets managed.

Having a budget doesn't stop you from spending money the way you want it to, but works like a partner to track your spending and allocating resources to help you reach your financial goals.

The Envelope System

The Envelope system is a way to track your variable expenses like food, entertainment, and drinks.

This method, preferably used weekly, allocates a certain amount in each category in labeled envelopes (food, drinks, movies, etc.). Once the envelope is empty, you are done spending in that category.

How to Create a Good Budget

The principles that make a good budget, something you can stick to:

  • Being Realistic: Being too strict is a recipe for failure.
  • Making Adjustments: A budget is not set in stone, but a fluid thing.
  • A Team Sport: If you live with a partner or spouse, you have to agree mutually on how to budget the financials.
  • Expect the Unexpected: Keep an emergency fund, ideally 3-6 months of necessary expenses.
  • Budgeting the Expected: Certain upcoming expenses need to be budgeted in advance, like property tax, holiday shopping, etc.

Start Budgeting

Follow these simple steps and start Budgeting:

  • Choose the right tool (Budgeting App, Excel sheet or Envelopes)
  • Gather all information like your bank and investment account numbers, user id's, and passwords.
  • Make a list of all your income sources and all your expenses.
  • Share the important financial and budgeting details with your partner or spouse if applicable.

The 50/30/20 Rule

It breaks down your budget categories into three broad segments:

  • 50%: Essential Expenses like housing, automobile expenses, groceries, insurance, utilities, etc.
  • 30%: Discretionary Expenses (Non-essential) like Dining out, entertainment, drinks, etc.
  • 20%: Financial Goals including mortgage, home, and educational savings.

If there is heavy credit-card debt, the financial goals should be 30% and non-essential spendings only 20%.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Budgeting = creating a plan to spend your money

Budgeting is simply balancing your expenses with your income.

It's a plan for the coordination of resources and expenditures. When you budget your money, there’s a desir...

How to create a budget
  1. Gather Some Financial Information: gather a detailed list of your income and expenses.
  2. Select a Budgeting Method: figure out how you’ll budget your money to meet your most pressing financial goals.
  3. Create Your Budget: tally up all your expenses and income to see where you stand and allocate expenses.
  4. Execute Your Plan: you can use a notebook, pen and paper, a spreadsheet or an online software.
  5. Reward Yourself: you can work a small percentage into your budget to treat yourself each month.
The 70:20:10 budgeting method

This method suggests that you allocate 70 percent of your income to expenses, 20 percent to savings, and the remaining 10 percent to debt.

70:20:10 may work for someone with a healthy emergency fund and minimal debt.

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The 50/20/30 budgeting method
The 50/20/30 budgeting method

With the 50/20/30 budgeting method:

  • 50% of your monthly spending goes toward essentials - your home, your food, etc.
  • 20% of your monthly spending ...
Debt payments

Debt payments may look confusing when you add it to the savings column. But the easiest way to build up a savings balance is not to have your money go toward debt. Once your debt is paid off, you can increase the savings.

Reducing your essentials

Play around with your monthly budget to see where you can reduce your monthly spending:

  • You could contact your internet company to get a discount.
  • You can clip coupons and use rebate apps to spend less on your monthly groceries.
  • You could set aside less for medical expenses if you have an emergency fund.
The Golden Rules of Personal Finance
  • Spend less money than you earn
  • Always plan for the future: you should always look forward beyond the current month
  • Make your mon...
The zero-sum budget

Using this method forces you to “spend” every dollar that you make, by allocating all of your earnings into the different categories that your finances require.

It prevents waste and m...

Steps of the zero-sum budget
  1. Determine how much you make on any given month.
  2. List your bills: Once you determine how much money you'll make this month,  figure out how much money you need to spend next month.
  3. Compare and contrast:  Once you see your monthly income and your monthly bills on paper, a clear picture of how much money is left over emerges.
  4. Spend all of your money on paper: decide where that money will serve you best.
  5. Track your spending.
  6.  Make adjustments to get it right.
What a Budget Does

As a personal financial planning tool, a written, monthly budget allows you to plan for how you'll spend and/or save your money each month and also keep track of your spending patterns.

Make a Budget in 6 Simple Steps
  1. Gather every financial statement you can (bank statements, investment accounts, recent utility bills).
  2. Record all of your sources of income.
  3. Create a list of monthly expenses.
  4. Break expenses into 2 categories: fixed and variable.
  5. Total your monthly income and monthly expenses.
  6. Make adjustments to expenses: If you have accurately identified and listed all of your expenses, the ultimate goal would be to have your income and expense columns to be equal.
The 50/15/5 rule for multiple financial goals
The 50/15/5 rule for multiple financial goals
  • 50% of your income goes toward essential expenses: rent, bills, minimum debt payments.
  • 15% percent goes to retirement savings. They also suggest you increase this by ...
Making Your Budget Too Strict

Budget for the life you have. When you’re going through your budget and assigning spending categories, be realistic. 

Don’t tell yourself you’ll never buy a single discretionary i...

Budgeting for a Life You Can’t Afford

This becomes a problem when you’re spending for a life you can’t afford. It puts pressure on your budget and encourages you to live in a paycheck to paycheck cycle.

Assess your financial situation, cut back on your expenses, prioritize your money goals, and then come up with a new spending plan.

Budgeting Without a Purpose

It’s hard to stick to a budget that doesn’t have a goal.

When there isn’t one, your budget becomes an afterthought rather than a spending plan to reach your financial goals.

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The cash flow formula
The cash flow formula

The word "budget" is often synonymous with restricted and rigid, making you want to avoid it. Instead, use the term "cash flow."

The formula for cash fl...

Decide how strict you need to be with y our money

Your budgeting style will change over your lifetime. You may use the envelope method when you need to be stricter with yourself.

Some people feel less stressed when they use budgeting styles that track every penny. Others find it is enough to run cash flow and know there's some money left each month for nonessentials. They don't need to itemize where every dollar is spent. See what style of budgeting support your goals and sanity, then adjust as needed.

Know when to stop trimming

Much personal finance advice focuses on making cuts. The information is useful when you're trying to avoid mindless spending. However, there is a time to shift your focus from slashing to earning.

Polish your resume, and apply for open roles that could be earning more. If you're not looking for a career move, a side hustle can help increase your income.

one more idea

Side Hustle to Make More Money

You don't have to sacrifice all of your free time to start a side hustle, use the time you’re comfortable with and make a little bit of progress every day. 

Take Action

Get to working on improving your finances today, not tomorrow. Reading the steps and thinking you’re capable of doing it but postponing it is just an excuse, an unprofitable one.

Communicate With Your Partner

Talking about your financial goals, and scheduling time once a month to go over your finances together can prevent money from affecting your relationship.

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Common budgeting mistakes
  1. Not Tracking Expenses: it's impossible to stick to your budget if you don't know where your money is going.
  2. Buying on Impulse: Impulse buying is expensive.&nb...
Tracking expenses
One of the ugly truths about budgeting is that when you keep track of your expenses, it’s painfully clear when you’ve gone off track. 

Write it down when you’ve gone over your budget. The negativity you feel will help prevent you from overspending more or doing it again. Just think of this step as damage control.

Being frugal and miserable

If you try to deprive yourself too much, you’ll binge later and throw all your hard work out the window. 

A spending binge can set you back far more than treating yourself occasionally, so go for the occasional minor splurge. Just keep your treats within your spending limits and you’ll be fine.