14 Suggestions to come up with a workable Budget.
Are you ready to begin working on a budget? This plan is setup more toward a family, but a single person could also definitely benefit from it. You decide how to begin and incorporate expenses and saving in your plan. It may take some time to find the right plan for you and your family. It’s OK to start small, but be determined to start. Don’t procrastinate! Start!
What if you sit down and have an honest discussion with your husband/wife or partner. No distractions and begin to work on the 14 items listed below. The 14 items listed are suggestions to work off of and something that has been helping us for years now.
Come up with a genuine plan of action, write it down, so you don’t forget it. Start with scrap paper, as you may tear it up several times. You may also think of something that I have forgotten.
***Ready, start, go! Someone has to take the lead. Don’t argue! Discuss.
1. Gather all your bills together. If everything is done electronically get a copy of your statement and begin working from it. I’ll bet you are spending money you are not even aware of until the next budget discussion or the end of the month.
2. Have a calendar available that you will use only for your budget. Do in pencil. Put due dates on calendar so you don’t forget. Hang that calendar in your kitchen or office as a reminder of payment due. Even electronic payments need to be checked on. I hope you are checking your electronic statements!
3. Come up with a workable budget sheet for you. Try something like this one below. Keep adding to it until your whole budget is in front of you. Change it as often as you want until you have something that is working for you.
POSSIBLE BUDGET WORK SHEET – Do a spreadsheet or table. Across the top, add these columns. The last column can be the money you have coming in or it can be the first column if you want. The money coming in and the fourth column should tally when you get everything sorted out. You can always add more columns, if you find that helpful.
First Column – Name of Bill
Second Column – Amount of Payment
Third Column – Due Date
Fourth Column -Amount Paid/Spent – Add an E for electronically, Ch-check and C-cash.
Start with Mortgage/Rent Example
Due -$900.00 1st of month Electronically Pd 900.00 on 1st of month.
Then do Utilities
Water- Utilities- Get on budget plans if you can
Food-Make list! Try hard to stick to your list.
Car-gas money, No car? Bus, Bicycle, Car Pool
4. Be sure when you finish putting your big items on the budget sheet, continue on with the rest of your necessary budget. You add in the smaller items such as dining out, lunch money and spending money. Whatever you want to name them- miscellaneous. extras is up to you.
5. Charity! The following are things for you to think about. Do you give to others? Do you give to your Church? How will you handle Christmas spending this year 2019. Especially if you decide to send your credit cards bye, bye.
6. Always include how much you spend for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and weddings during the year. Do you budget for haircuts and or beauty shop visits? If you can do your own hair, consider that a win, win situation.
7. The first 4 items listed above on your budget sheet should not be deleted. These are necessities of life as far as I am concerned. If you do not figure out how to handle these monthly or bi-monthly, you will struggle more and more. You will continue to live from paycheck to paycheck.
8. Where are you going to list (when you use your debit or credit card on the spur of the moment), so it shows in your budget?
9. How do you manage things like home maintenance, car maintenance etc. What about your lawn mower or your snow blower? Need to plan on a savings of some kind. Do not touch once you start it. Call it a hands off account, Call it an emergency account, Call it a save for new car budget.
10. Another tough one! Internet, telephones and television! Possibly you will want a family discussion on this one. Who is responsible for phone bills? Are your children limited on their phones?
11. Clothing! Can you turn yourself into a thrift shopper? Do you have teenagers? Do they have charge cards?
12. If you do not have insurance through your job, how are you going to pay your medical expenses? Do you have to pay estimated taxes?
13. What about school tuition, school supplies, school loans. Day care! Do you have to pay association dues of any kind? You get the idea.
14. Let’s go back to Food! A list is essential, but even more essential is when do you incorporate things like dog food, cat food, baby food, diapers, formula, cleaning supplies, toiletries etc. Not really food items but things most people buy when grocery shopping. Do you use one paycheck just for food and try to get the other items in the second paycheck if you are paid bi-monthly?
**At the end of each month you should have accounted for all your money. What your expenses (going out) are versus the income you are bringing home. If you have money left over you are not understanding budgeting.
Be patient with yourself. If nothing else try to change one or two things that you are currently doing to make your budget more manageable. Reward yourself if you accomplish one of your budget goals. Now don’t go overboard on the reward. Credit yourself with moving forward and trying to change.
I hope you have found this information helpful. Remember they are just suggestions to get you thinking. If you have any questions , please email me and I will try to help with some positive suggestions.