Budgeting is a fundamental part of personal finance and managing your money. The current financial climate with high inflation demands that you make the most of your money and plan. This article budgeting 101 will provide you with all the information you need to start budgeting and keep it going in 2022 and beyond.
We all know that the best way to save money is to spend less. But how do we do that? Really.
The simple answer is to create a budget. A budget is a plan for managing your money and spending it wisely over the course of a month or a year.
A budget is a tool that can be very beneficial in helping you achieve your financial goals and better your personal finances. By following a disciplined budget plan, you will be able to increase your savings, pay off debts faster, live more comfortably and possibly even retire early!
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about budgets: what they are, why they’re important, how to create one of your own, and more!
Elements of a Budget
A monthly budget template is a spreadsheet that helps you track your expenses and income. It can be used to create a budget for a month, or to compare spending habits with past months. There are several tools you can use to help you with your personal budget; like Microsoft Excel, Quicken, Spreadsheets, Sofi, Budget Planners, etc.
A good way to start is by looking at your income and expenses from the last three months. Then, categorize each expense as either fixed costs or variable costs. Fixed cost is the same every month, like rent or car payments. Variable costs change from month to month, like groceries or gas prices. Finally, add up all your fixed costs and subtract them from your monthly income to get your monthly budget amount for variable expenses.
A simplified budget can be broken down into different sections, such as income, savings, monthly expenses, and any other planned expenditures. The template below can be used for a monthly budget:
Monthly Expenses $__________
Other Planned Expenditures $__________
How to Create a Personal Budget in 5 Easy Steps
Creating a personal budget is not as hard as it seems. In fact, it can be done in 5 easy steps.
1) Determine your income and expenses: First, you need to determine how much you earn and how much you spend on various things.
2) Set up a budget: Once you know how much money you make and how much money you spend, the next step is to set up a budget that will allow for both things.
3) Track your spending habits: The last step is to track your spending habits so that they are in line with the budget that you have created for yourself.
4) Make sure to stick with your plan: It’s important that once you have created your plan, that you follow through. You should make sure to stick with your plan to stay on track and not get discouraged by the small obstacles that may come up along the way.
5) Remember that each step is just a steppingstone to the next: It’s important to remember not only what you are doing today, but also what you are going to do tomorrow.
Tips to improve with a Balanced Budget
There are several benefits to having a balanced budget. These include:
Knowing how much money you have in the bank
Knowing what your monthly expenses are
Knowing how much money you can spend on things like entertainment or travel
Having a clear idea of what your financial goals are and knowing whether they are within reach or not.
Balancing your budget is an important part of personal finance. So, make sure to keep track of your spending habits and be mindful of how much you spend on food, clothes, entertainment, and other expenses. After all, it is better to be aware of what your money is going towards so you can make informed decisions about how much money you want to save or spend each month.