Where did all my money go?
Let’s face it, you work hard, your spouse works hard, but you
seem to just keep your head above water.
Some months you may even feel like your sinking.
Boy do I have a plan for you!
Repeat after me:
Now say it again, like you mean it!
I know what you are thinking. “AGGHH, but I dont want to LIMIT myself”
The good news is: Budgeting does not mean limiting yourself it basically means Setting Goals and holding yourself responsible to reach those goals.
I will go through the steps to creating your monthly budget.
Add up ALL your monthly income
Determine if this is an accurate reflection of the past couple of months. If your income fluctuates, you need to consider a low end as your budgeted income.
Add up your monthly expenses
This list should include your utilities, phone bills, car payments, insurance, etc. The best way to start with this is to look back at 3 months worth of bank statements. Make a list of all Automatic payments. What is paid monthly, quarterly, or even yearly.
Make sure your list includes due dates as well as amounts.
Is your income higher than your expenses? Hopefully. What are you paying for that your do not even use? Gym Membership to a gym you haven’t been to in six months? CANCEL IT!! Subscriptions to magazines nobody ready? CANCEL! How many times did you eat out last month? How much did you spend on frivolous items?
Call your local utility company and see if they do budget billing. This means they take your last 12 months and get an average, which is your budget amount. That way your bill is never a surprise when you get it. I do this with our Electric as well as our gas company. Same amount every month, every season.
List those DEBTS!!!! Then Add Them UP!
This is probably the hardest one to cope with. Seeing that total can be scary. Be sure to list your debts separately. As in, each credit card, each loan, each student loan, each cell phone that you may be paying for.
Plan your month
There are plenty of free apps and webpages to help with a monthly budget. My favorite one is EVERY DOLLAR (No this is NOT an affiliate like, just a link to help you navigate there with ease.)
Start by placing your income in the income section of the website
then add your monthly utility, mortgage (or rent) what ever bills you may have. Every Dollar has great tutorials on just how to use the budget. It is simple and very user friendly. Be sure to allow enough for groceries, haircuts, pet food and other amenities.
Once you have your monthly bills accounted for you will place all your loans, and other debit monthly payments.