No matter how much income you make or how much your monthly expenses are, it is smart to have a monthly budget set so that you always know what amount you cannot go over each month. This will help you to stay out of debt or other financial troubles. Of course if you are new to budgeting it can feel a little overwhelming at first, so here are 4 tips to help you out.
Do The Math
When making your monthly budget, one thing you’ll definitely have to do is a little bit of math. You will need to do things like calculating your monthly car loan payments, rent or mortgage, and make estimates for how much you’ll spend on necessities like groceries, gas, and medications. Use a piece of paper to write down all of your monthly expenses and add them up, then subtract that number from your estimated monthly income after taxes. This should help you make informed decisions about what your monthly budget should be.
Cut Things Out
Part of making your monthly budget is deciding what things in your life you can cut out in order to save money. Write down everything that you spend money on including things you might consider small expenses such as coffee, fast food, or cigarettes. These small things add up and writing this all down on paper will help you to see that with fresh eyes. Once you see how much you are spending on everything, including the small things, you will be able to decide what things you can cut out without missing them too much.
No, going on a shopping spree will not help you with setting your monthly budget. But shopping around and comparing costs for all of your various expenses certainly will. Shop around when it comes to groceries, dog food, beauty products, cable and internet, and even your car insurance. Compare prices until you find one that fits your budget. In many cases you will be able to bundle different services to save even more money!
Finances are a stressful thing to deal with for many people, but when setting your monthly budget you should try to keep a cool head and don’t let it stress you out too much. After all, if you are having financial difficulties one of the things that will actually help you to overcome them is making a monthly budget. Stay calm and set that budget!
Setting a monthly budget for yourself or your family doesn’t need to be complicated or difficult. Just plan a time for it, sit down, and use some of these tips. Before you know it you will have a budget that works for you and it can stop taking up so much space in your brain!