There are so many ways to start a budget. But starting a budget is really not the hard part. The hard part is normally within ourselves. The main thing you are going to need is 100% of discipline and determination from YOURSELF.
You are the ONLY person that can change your financial situation. Now, I know you thought I was going to say a Budget app or spreadsheet….but NO!
Those things are included and come along with the plan but if you’re not willing to change your MINDSET and know that this is something you need to do to create a healthy future, then a budget app or spreadsheet won’t help you.
A budget is the starting point to creating your very own wealth plan. So whatever your plans are, a budget can help you create that plan.
A budget will do three of the following things.
- Get you more organized with your finances
- Help you cut down on spending in areas that you have a tendency to overspend in, like shopping and eating out excessively.
- It will ALSO allow you to SAVE for a specific goal or a rainy day or be able to buy a new home or car or even take a trip.
OK! So let’s talk about HOW YOU BUILD A BASIC BUDGET.
First, you sit down with all of your income and expenses… ALL OF THEM! Don’t leave out gas for the car… Don’t leave out haircut money for the kids and don’t leave out the money to get your nails done or your own personal needs. Include any method by which money leaves your possession in a month.
If those are a part of your expenses, they should be included. Whether you’re using a spreadsheet or an app having those numbers in front of you will help show you EXACTLY where your money is going!
You can make as many categories as you like; I recommend at the bare minimum “housing,” “utilities,” “automobile,” “food,” “household expenses,” and “entertainment.” Depending on your shopping habits, you may wish to include any number of categories for this. Once you’ve decided on your categories, sort all of your expenses for the month into these categories and add up what you spent in each.
Based on the due dates and the dates you receive income, you should be able to indicate what bills you can pay on what dates. This will be the backbone of the budget that you prepare for the next month.
Now here is where a budget should add benefit to your life. SO! You’re looking at ALL THESE BILLS and this little money coming in… Right!
Well, that is where the budget should help you figure out from your bills what should stay or what should go. It should help you figure out what is NEEDED and what is NOT A necessity. Your budget should show you how much eating out for lunch is costing you. It should show you how HIGH your power bill is and that SOMEBODY needs to start cutting more lights out around the house.
But ultimately, budget can really be your friend… and as a real friend should do… they should TELL YOU THE TRUTH! Numbers don’t LIE and if you’re honest with yourself, a budget can make a difference.
Once you’ve made it through a month using your budget, congratulations! You’re on the road to success! Now you can really see where the weaknesses in your budget are; you can readjust some
amounts in each budgetary area and hopefully peel off a little bit more unnecessary spending. Don’t worry if you still go over the first few months; it is not easy converting your mindset from an overspending one to an under spending one. Just keep trying – thinking about it and trying to make changes is half the battle. It’s much like riding a bicycle; you’re going to fall off a few times at first. Now NO! Things won’t change overnight and YES!! This WILL take some time to get used too! But YOU CAN DO IT! A good budget takes a few months of adjustments to work properly. So give yourself some time on this and DON’T GIVE UP!!
But I want you to realize that TODAY IS A GOOD DAY to start! Hey! A year from now you will wish you would have started today!
So, I’m going to leave you with this quote…
A BUDGET IS YOUR ROADMAP TO PROSPERITY. BE A GOOD STEWARD OVER YOUR MONEY SO YOU CAN BE BLESSED WITH MORE!
Just remember that you’re not alone and everyone who takes control of their finances goes through the tough process of learning how to do it. If you still need more assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us at MPA Financials.