So many people fail to budget their money, you’d think that it was a pretty difficult concept. But, working out a budget is one of the easiest things you can do to ensure your financial health and continued financial future.
How to Begin
Starting down the budgeting road means keeping track of what you spend. This is probably the part that trips most people up because it’s tedious and time consuming. However, this one simple act can save you hundreds and thousands of dollars every year. So, grab a notebook and let’s get started.
Keep your budget notebook for only a month. Longer is better, but we’re just starting out. This should give you a pretty good view of what you spend every month on utilities, groceries, rent/mortgage, etc. It will also give you a good idea of how much money you are wasting. Label your notebook pages something like, rent, utilities, food, clothing, credit payments, entertainment, eating out, etc. If you spend money on something like a morning latte, then you can create a miscellaneous spending page for such things that are nice, but not necessary.
At the end of the month, take an honest look at where you’re spending your money. Assuming that you’ve been honest and recorded everything, even the fifty cents you spent on that soda from the vending machine, you should know how your luxury spending is stacking up next to your necessary spending.
What If You Can’t Balance Your Budget?
Unless you’re Donald Trump, you’ve probably discovered that money is tight. That spending diary that you’ve spent the last couple of months diligently working on is going to tell you exactly where you can decrease your spending and where you can find money for such frivolities as a savings account and investments. By using your spending diary to determine just where you are overspending, whether it’s spending too much for lunches at work or buying videos when you should be renting, you can create a simple budget that takes into consideration your income and your lifestyle.