The goal of budgeting is to manage your money in the best way possible. But it can be really easy to go over and mess up your whole plan. Today we’re talking about how to create a budget and stick to it. We’ve also included some helpful tips to keep you on track.
Yes, we mean everything. Start with your monthly after-tax income and divide it among all of your expenses. Meaning your needs, wants, and savings and debt. Here are some examples of those things:
- Mortgage or rent
- Car payments
- Child care
- Anything else that you must pay
- Dinners out and date nights
- Gym memberships
- Anything that is flexible and not a necessity
Savings and Debt
- Emergency fund
- Retirement fund
- Education fund for your children
- Debt repayment
After defining your needs, wants, and savings and debt, you should allocate your income. One of the easiest ways to do this is with the 50/30/20 rule. Allot 50% of your income to needs, 30% to wants, and the remaining 20% to savings and debt.
Revisit The Budget
When using the 50/30/20 rule you should end up without a deficit or a surplus. But on a month to month basis circumstances change. Maybe your energy bill was a little higher or you went on a few too many shopping sprees.
Your income and priorities will change as time passes. Things happen and it’s normal for these to fluctuate. When you notice things changing just be sure to modify your budget accordingly.
If you’re finding it challenging to stay on track, you’re not alone. Budgeting is much easier said than done. Luckily there are numerous apps and tricks to help you out.
Tips & Tricks
- Automate your savings
- Auto draft bills
- Only grocery shop once a week
- Use a budget spreadsheet