In this article, we will look at budgeting for beginners. This article explores budgeting in an easy step by step guide.
Budgeting For Beginners (Step By Step)
- Step 1: Note Your Monthly Income
- Step 2: Note Your Fixed Expenses
- Step 3: Note Your Variable Expenses
- Step 4: Consider A Budget Plan
- Step 5: Keep The Wants Within The Budget
- Step 6: Cut Down On Your Expenses
- Step 7: Budget For Wiping Out Debt
Step 1: Note Your Monthly Income
Your monthly income is the amount left over if you just have one source of income and get a regular paycheck with taxes deducted automatically. Your net income, often known as take-home pay, is the amount of money you earn after tax deductions.
If you have multiple jobs, add up the net salary for each one to get a total monthly income. If you’re self-employed or get money from a trust fund or parental aid, keep track of the exact figures you get each month.
Step 2: Note Your Fixed Expenses
Some expenditures are fixed, meaning you pay the same rate every month. Monthly rent payments, student loans, automotive loans, and personal loans are all examples of household expenditures that fall under this category.
These are simple to keep track of because the monthly sums should only vary if you accrue late fees. Budgeting for beginners teaches you how to manage your money so that you can pay your rent on time and avoid incurring late penalties that would blow your budget.
Step 3: Note Your Variable Expenses
Some of your monthly bills are subject to change. If you reside in a seasonal environment with extreme temperatures, for example, your air conditioning expenditures will fluctuate according to the outside temperature.
Some power companies provide budget billing options that allow you to pay a monthly flat amount for services, making it simpler to budget for this expenditure. If you consume more energy than your billing plan allows, you may be required to pay the excess in one huge lump payment.
Analyze three months’ worth of bank and credit card statements to make a list of how much you spent on these items on a routine basis. Collect all of your petrol and store receipts for a few months to acquire an exact number for each spend. Calculate an average using whatever technique you like and enter the result into your budget.
Step 4: Consider A Budget Plan
Develop your monthly budget once you’ve determined how much you intend to generate and spend each month. Start broad and narrow as you go, focusing on areas that fluctuate and potentially affect your entire budgeting strategy.
You might wish to seek the counsel of a financial advisor to help you develop a complete budget The 50/30/20 budgeting plan is recommended by the majority of financial advisors.
This strategy proposes allocating 50% of your take-home salary to needs, 30% to wants, and 20% to savings. To avoid putting yourself up for disappointment, pick a tracking approach that doesn’t demand more time and upkeep than you’re prepared to spend on it, regardless of whatever budget plan you select.
Step 5: Keep The Wants Within The Budget
The most important element of your budget should always be set aside for your necessities. The remainder is divided between your wants and your savings. Shopping, eating out, going to the movies, and other things that you like are examples of wants. However, certain items, such as food, may be classified as both needs and wants.
Food is an essential component of life, but determining how much to budget for groceries may be tough. In 2016, Americans spent 5.2 percent of their disposable income on meals at home and 4.7 percent on eating out, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
Although there is no magic number for how much you should spend on groceries, this average might help you get started. Take note of how much you spend on food over a three-month period and compute an average to include in your monthly budget to budget for your particular needs and prevent overpaying.
Step 6: Cut Down On Your Expenses
Look for strategies to save money if your budget shows that your spending exceeds your income. Examining how much money you’re spending on items you want but don’t actually need is one of the simplest methods to cut your expenditures.
A night out with your mates, for instance, costs approximately $81, which adds up quickly if you go out several times per week. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t go out, but you’ll need to cut back on your spending to keep your budget in check.
Another strategy to save money is to explore if you can get specific services at a reduced price. To determine whether a rival provides a better package or if you can save money by bundling, contact your mobile, internet, and cable television providers. Consider removing the premium cable channels in favour of a more affordable basic subscription. You may also look for low-cost streaming alternatives on the internet.
Step 7: Reward Yourself For Staying On Budget
Setting objectives and rewarding yourself is a great strategy to improve your chances of budgeting success. Make a plan to save a certain amount of money to pay off debts by cutting back on frivolous expenditure such as dining out, partying, and shopping. Treat yourself with a modest indulgence with something pleasurable when you reach your savings target.
Put Your Budget On Paper
There are a plethora of options for budgeting, whether you’d like to use an excel spreadsheet, write it down on paper, or utilise a budgeting pdf template. You have alternatives, from the budgeting applications available today to all of the fantastic tools available online. What matters is that you maintain track of your spending by making a detailed budget plan that you can return to.
Hold Yourself Accountable
The final and most crucial task is to hold yourself accountable. Even if you accomplish steps one to seven, you won’t be likely to maintain your budget if you don’t hold yourself accountable.
Creating a budget is excellent, but you’ll lose track of your final objective if you don’t remind yourself why you’ve been budgeting in the very first place. Your ultimate objective might be to save for a house, pay off debt, or just take another step toward financial independence. You earned it, whatsoever your “why” is. You put forth a lot of effort to earn this money.
Maintain accountability by checking in with your budget on a frequent basis. Develop a habit to examine the budget you created in step 2 at least once a month. Do it on a weekly basis if you’re down for it. This is where you’ll see your short-term expenditures mount up, enabling you to keep track of before it is too late at the end of the month.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
In this article, we looked at budgeting for beginners. This article explored budgeting in an easy step by step guide.
Frequently Asked Questions: Budgeting For Beginners
What is the 50 30 20 budget rule?
In her book, All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan, Senator Elizabeth Warren popularised the so-called “50/20/30 budget rule” (also known as “50-30-20”). The main approach is to split after-tax income into three categories and spend 50 percent on necessities, 30 percent on wants, and allocate 20 percent to savings.
How can I make a budget?
How do I make a budget?
- Make a list of your expenses. Expenses are the things you spend your money on.
- Make a list of how much money you earn. This covers your wages as well as any additional money you get, such as child support.
- Subtract your expenditure from your gross income. This figure must be greater than zero.
What is a good budget for rent?
Take a look at the 30% rule. The 30 percent rule, which states that you should spend roughly 30% of your gross income on rent, is a common rule of thumb. So, if your monthly income is $2,800 before taxes, you need a budget of $840 for rent.
What two things should be included in a budget?
All the budget categories can be clustered into five essential things: income, fixed expenses, variable expenses, discretionary expenses, and personal financial goals. Fixed expenses are ones you cannot do without, like rent, food, and insurance.
What is the 30 day rule?
The 30 day saving strategy is simple: the very next time you’re thinking about making an impulse purchase, put it off for 30 days. If you even then wish to buy it after those 30 days, go ahead and do it.
Why is it not recommended to pay off debt with savings?
Savings should not be used to pay off debt. If you deplete your savings and need to utilise credit cards or loans to meet costs during a time of unforeseen unemployment or a medical emergency, you run the risk of getting back into debt.
What are optional expenses?
Expenses that are “optional” are those that you CAN ABSOLUTELY survive without. These are also costs that can be delayed if your budgeting objective permits it or if your expenditure exceeds your income. Novels, TV, the internet, expensive meals, and films are all examples.
What is an example of a non-discretionary expense?
Non-discretionary and discretionary expenses are separated into two groups. Accommodation, taxes, debts, and groceries are examples of non-discretionary expenditure; discretionary expenses would be any expenses incurred over or above what is regarded as essential.