having a budget helps you manage your money, control your spending, save more money, pay off debt, or stay out of debt. you can also create your budget worksheet using free spreadsheet programs, including the ones offered by vertex42 and it’s your money, or even paper and pen. add up all reliable sources of income: wages from a job, alimony, child support, and more. if you’re self-employed or have a fluctuating income, use an average monthly income or an estimate of the income you expect to receive in a particular month. for your variable expenses, write the maximum amount you plan to spend in that category or the amount you expect your bill to be. use your previous bank and credit card statements to help you figure out what you typically spend each month. but accounting for those periodic expenses in your monthly budget can make it easier to afford them when they’re due.
you want this to be a positive number so you can put it toward your debt, savings, or other financial goals. if your net income is negative, it means you’ve budgeted to spend more than your income. otherwise, you may end up having to use your credit cards, borrow money, or overdraft your account to make it through the month. reduce or eliminate spending in those “want” areas to make more room for the things you “need” to spend money on. or you may need to adjust your budget to compensate for the additional spending. with the 50/30/20 budget, you allocate 50% of your income to needs, 30% to wants, and 20% to financial goals. to live on a budget, you’ll need to regularly keep track of your spending and compare it to your budget categories.
in essence, a budget not only lays out a path for reaching a particular financial destination but also acts as a flashlight to shine the way and ensure that you don’t wander off course. but just as it’s difficult to shed pounds when you don’t know how many calories you’re consuming, it’s equally difficult to cut the fat out of your spending and whip your finances into shape without a budget to shine a light on where your money is currently going. if you are paid weekly: take your weekly pay and multiply it by the number of weeks in a year: 52. divide this number by 12 to get your monthly income. or you may discover that too much of your money is going toward variable expenses like expensive meals, clothes or shows that you can easily live without, providing the kick-start you need to trim back your spending to build up a rainy day fund or save for retirement.
if you don’t ultimately set the right the goals in your budget for financial health, the endeavor will be a failure. incharge’s online budget calculator will help you capture all of your expenses and assess what income is required to maintain your expenses. while there are plenty of resources available to help you get started with creating and sticking to a budget that will put you on the path to your financial goals, the process can still seem overwhelming, especially for those who are already struggling with debt or other challenges. © 2000-2022 incharge debt solutions.
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