Creating a Budget
Creating a budget involves taking a look at what you earn and what you spend. A good place to start is by looking at your budget on a monthly basis. Don't forget to take into account earnings and spending that may not happen each month (for example - insurance premiums, holiday spending, etc.). It may be helpful to create a budget based on what you think will happen and then keep track of what actually happens.
There are two major things to consider at when creating a budget:
- 1) Your income(s)
- 2) Your expenses
For more guidance, view the brief tutorial on creating a budget and supporting tools on the links below:
Creating a Budget This 2 1/2 minute tutorial will guide you through the steps to create a budget.
Track Your Money Worksheet Use this interactive worksheet to track your income and spending.
Monthly Budget Worksheet Now that you tracked spending, develop a monthly budget with this interactive worksheet.
Cash Flow Calculator This tool can help you see where your money goes by creating a pie chart of your cash flow.
Interactive Quiz See how much you know about financial planning.
Spent Game It's just stuff until you don't have it. Learn how to budget scenario.
Bank It or Bust It Game This game can help you become more familiar with basic budgeting choices.
Spring Cleaning Your Debt It's springtime--time for you to take stock of your surroundings and get rid of the dirt and clutter that you've accumulated during this past year, especially financially.
Revisiting and Revising Your Budget
Once you have documented your income and expenses, you can then look at which - if any - you want to change. If your expenses are greater than you want, perhaps you can cut back on or even eliminate some non-necessary spending. If your income is less than you want, perhaps you can look at alternative sources of income.
Sticking to a budget can sometimes be a challenge. Your budget should have the flexibility to adjust as unexpected events occur. At the same time, it is important to remain focused and disciplined in order to meet the goals you have set.
Creating a budget is not a one time deal. It may be helpful to review your earning and spending amounts on a monthly basis. As your life changes, you may need to update your budget and adjust your money management accordingly.