How do you develop a budget? Some of you already know how this will be an excellent refresher. For those of you who don’t, this article will be beneficial. Rosa will help you not only build a budget but understand the purpose behind it.
Hi Everyone! It’s Rosa,
Even though we are discussing a budget, you should always keep this in mind. We all have one life. We should all be striving to achieve happiness. Money does not determine happiness. We need money to live, but we do not need money to be happy. If you need help getting out of debt, please check out our article here.
Let’s talk about a budget. The purpose behind a budget is to know what we are bringing, what we are spending, and what will be left over. It’s effortless if we get disciplined in doing this every single month, once a month. I prefer to do mine the last week of the month for the month that’s coming up. As an example, If we are in the last week of August, I will have my budget DONE for September.
We already know how many payrolls are going to fall in this month. I get paid every Friday of the month. I look at how many Fridays are in that month. If there are three, I will write three, if it’s four, well you get the idea. I am going to write down the NET amount, not the gross (Gross means before any taxes are taken out).
Step 1 Figure out the Income (for your household)
To make it easy to understand, we are going to use whole numbers. Let’s say our paycheck is $500 Net. If there are four Friday’s, I am going to bring in $2,000 for September.
Things change when we become very acutely aware of our numbers. You might end up being surprised, that you have $50, $100, or even more left over.
Step 2 Planning the Expenses
Since it’s the last week of the month, I know that I have bills due, some are due in 7 days, some in 15, and some in 30 days. I already have them because vendors bill you and give you that amount of time to pay. Even though I might not have all of my bills, I have Ninety Percent of them.
The first thing we need to talk about is our necessities. What is it that we need to pay to survive?
We want to have shelter, another term for rent or mortgage. Second, we want to have our groceries covered, so that we feed our family. Third, is utilities, keeping the lights on. Lastly, transportation to make sure we get to and from work. You should know what you spend on these items on average.
Then we list the remainder of the bills that we need to pay. Car insurance, cable, cell phone, credit cards, etc. Some of us will have a lot more, some of us will have a lot less.
It does not matter what level of income you are today. The purpose of creating a budget, so you are aware and can make changes.
What happens if you’re short?
A budget will show you that you’re short before the bill is due. If you’re already ahead of the game, you can make adjustments or strategize to prevent being short. The day you budget is the day that you understand, then you can take action.
First, analyze any expenses written down. Are there expenses we can cut? We probably can’t change rent but what about groceries? This area we can micro-manage. A lot of us tend to go to the grocery store and grab what we think we need. We end up buying what we don’t need or overspend. Before you go to the grocery store, every week. Go through your pantry, go through your refrigerator. What do we have and what do we need? Plan your dinners for the week. What will you need to cook those dinners for the week?
Gas is another one we can micro-manage. Sometimes when we run errands, we tend to run around more than we need to. If we gameplan to do all our chores at once, we can handle multiple things at once.
Utilize what you already have so you only spend on what you need.
If we can’t cut expenses, then we need to look into bringing more revenue to our income. One thing to keep in mind, now and then, if you connect with your vendors. Cell phone, cable, and car insurance would be considered vendors. Ask them about any items you don’t use. You don’t have to do the work. Their systems have the information you need
Bringing in Income
What are we not using? A lot of us have things in our house. We got as a gift for Christmas or our birthday, that is in its packaging. Resell through E-bay, Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, if it’s just a paperweight, do you need it? You can find free stuff to sell, check out this article by Gary V on the ultimate flip.
Let’s not forget, We have four weeks to do this.
Find a weekend venture. Events such as concerts and shows are always happening. Ask if you can offer some help, whether it be bartending, security, or the cleanup crew. There are different ways that we can bring in revenue. It’s just a matter of putting in thought.
If we can do this monthly, it will make you aware, and help change your situation. It has to be consistent. Consistent budgeting will eventually ensure you have plenty of extra money to invest.