A Monthly Budget: How To Create One

2018 Budget

This year is the year to set up a Budget and stick to it.  Following a monthly budget is one of the best ways to manage your personal finances. In order to follow a budget, though, you have to create one first and sometimes that can be the tricky part. If you are ready to create a budget and follow it to help you manage your finances, the following information can help. Read these tips and make a budget that works for you.

The first thing you need to do is start by tracking the money you spend. It is important to write down, or record, each and every penny you spend. For instance, if you buy a soda pop from the vending machine, write it down. Each purchase, big or little, needs to be written down and accounted for. There are many ways you can do this. You can either carry a notebook around with you, find an app on your smartphone, or tally receipts at the end of the day.  You must do this daily though to set up a habit and not get overwhelmed at the end of the week or month.  With every good new habit, you wish to either start or break most can be implemented in about 30 days.  You do anything for thirty days straight you will be much more likely to stick with it.

Once you have tracked your spending for several weeks, you need to start looking at it. Start to categorize the money you spend in a way that makes sense to you. For example, you might choose groceries, eating out, household bills, vehicle expenses and anything else that makes sense in your mind. Do not forget expenses that you pay once or twice a year, as well as things like clothes and oil changes that you do not buy all the time.

Now that you have your spending categorized, you can dig deeper into your spending patterns. Is there anything you are spending too much money on? Do you need to cut spending in an area or two? When you have a clear picture of what you are spending, you can sit down and start to make your budget. Make a category for all the important spending in your life. It is important that your budget is realistic, though. For example, if you saw that you spent $700 on groceries for a month, do not make your budget $300. If you write down amounts that are too low, you will not be able to follow your budget and it will not work.

When your budget is created and you have decided how much money you will spend in each category, it is important that you follow through. One way to make sure you do not “cheat” is to have some “cheat” money in your budget. Give yourself an allowance, a small amount of money to play with. This will help you follow your budget and not take money out of other areas so you have money to buy random things.

Some of my tricks to budgets is only carrying cash and when you run out of cash for the week.  That is it you can’t buy anything else.  Hopefully, you have stored some canned foods at home to eat.  I try to setup up most of the bills I have to pay to be auto draft every month, so in the end, I am really only dealing with my food, gas, and misc budgets.

Making a budget and following it is a great way to manage your finances. When you are on top of your personal spending, it can make your life a lot more stress-free, at least as far as money is concerned. Use the tips shared here and you can be on your way to a healthy and happy spending style.

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