Every month you overspend and then vow not to do it the next month. Yet you find yourself spending a higher amount this time. Why does this happen? How do you control these (unforeseen) expenses? This can be done by learning how to create a budget. Money is valuable in today’s day and time, especially with the current economic state. Since everything functions around it, there should be some methods of financial planning that will allow you to control it and try to save up a little. Given here are some tips to help you learn about the art of budget making.
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How to Create a Personal Budget
A lot of factors go into deciding how to make a budget plan, particularly the nature of your expenses. Here we will take a step by step approach in creating a budget and then implementing it.
Figure Out your Income
Budgeting begins by first figuring out what your exact income is. Whether you have one source of income or more, make it a part of your budgeting plan, to understand exactly how much you have available to spend, and how much you want to save. The type of income that makes it to this budget should be the income you utilize. The income you save is obviously not available for use.
Calculate Your Monthly Expenses
Make a list of the fixed expenses per month. This includes all your bills (credit card, electricity, phone), grocery expenses, mortgages, and other such expenses that cannot be avoided on a monthly basis. Savings from earned income are also counted as expenses. Next, make a list of your variable expenses per month. For instance, this would include your shopping spree, a visit to the salon, a meal in your favorite restaurant, a monthly subscription to a magazine, etc. Since you are only learning how to make a budget, and for the purpose of convenience, categorize these two separately, and calculate an average of the amount you spend on either each month.
Consider Quarterly and Annual Expenses
This is one of those things you may have overlooked in your personal finance budgeting plan. When creating a budget quarterly and annual expenses should never be overlooked. These may include premium payments on insurance, etc. These have to be considered in your overall budget planning process so you can save enough to make these expenditures, else you will be badly hit at that time.
Tally Income and Expenses
With your income and expenses clearly charted out, it is time to figure out whether you earn more than you spend or vice versa. At this point, your actual budgeting process will begin. Create a budget worksheet (you may make use of this monthly budget template for this purpose), and allot a certain amount of income first for the fixed expenses. Then allot the amount you are required to save for future use, for investments, and for your quarterly and yearly expenses. Finally, allot an amount for your variable expenses. The reason these expenses are called variable is that they can be altered. You need not buy a book when you can join a library, or join a gym when you can run in the park. If you wish to learn about money-saving tips for better uses you such as paying off debt, etc. you have to make certain alterations to your lifestyle.
Implement the Budget
Now that you have learned how to create a budget plan, it is time to put this plan into action. Spending within the restrictions you have imposed upon yourself is going to be slightly difficult. However, if you have bigger, more serious expenses looming overhead, then you are going to have to give up certain extravagances you may be used to. Over time, you will get used to this way of life, and notice that it is working out in your favor. You will also notice how much you could have saved if you started sooner.
Change Your Mindset
A lot of people who live on a budget believe that they are restricted and that they are in poor financial condition. While this may be true, it is also important that you don’t make this a deep-rooted belief. There are many ways in which you can enjoy a good lifestyle even within a budget. Stop comparing your life with others. No one else is responsible for your situation. They are responsible for theirs, and you are for yours. This time will soon pass and these planning tips will help you lead a better lifestyle in the long run.
For those of you looking for budgeting tips for business purposes, you may take a look at this piece on a sample business budget.
Learning how to create a budget and living by it does not mean you cannot treat yourself to a little extravagance once in a while. In fact, in order to stick to your budget by means of these budgeting tips, it is important that you give yourself the occasional treat, else you will feel very restricted and will eventually break free from all these limits you have imposed on yourself. For your budget plan to be implemented successfully, it is always better to keep the bigger picture in mind. In some cases, keeping a short term goal also helps. For instance, you may decide you want to save a particular amount in a month, and be able to do it. However, you must relate this saving to the overall saving you are aiming at. Finally, always review how this plan is going, to ensure that you are sticking to it. A little up and down in the overall budget is alright, but ensure that you don’t deviate from the allotted figures too much. All the best with your budgeting endeavors!