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Your 6-Step Guide to Making a Personal Budget

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.

With a budget, you can begin to prioritize your spending and better manage your money and financial future.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Your 6-Step Guide to Making a Personal Budget

Your 6-Step Guide to Making a Personal Budget

https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-make-a-budget-1289587

thebalance.com

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Key Ideas

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.

With a budget, you can begin to prioritize your spending and better manage your money and financial future.

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.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & 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.

...

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.

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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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Keep everything as simple as possible

The more credit cards you have, the more chances you have for identity theft and the more chances you have to miss a payment. The more investment accounts you have, the less attention you can give ...

Don’t ever let your “future self”...

...take care of your current situation.

Your future self might have more income, but it’s also fairly likely that your future self might have less income and you’ll find yourself in a really bad situation. 

Even if your future self is doing well, there are probably going to be other big expenses that you’ll want to deal with at that time, like buying a house.

Focus on...

  • Building an emergency fund: set up an automatic weekly or monthly transfer from your checking account to your savings, then leave the savings alone until an emergency appears.
  • Eliminating high-interest debt: Set up a simple debt repayment plan by organizing your debts by interest rate, then attempt to make a double payment on whatever debt has the highest interest rate.
  • Saving for retirement: It will actually end up being a much smaller burden than you expect,  lifted up by the pleasure of knowing that you’re securing your retirement.

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