How To Make A Budget
Happy New Year! It’s a new decade, a new year and it’s time to take control of our finances. That’s right!
In today’s Tips For Life I’m going to show you a few simple steps to make a budget. I know that reading that word (budget) is very scary and not thrilling for many of you, but let me tell you that it is simply the most liberating word you’ll ever learn.
As my friend says (wink)
A Budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.
Did you know that 60% of Americans don’t do a budget or financial plan?
It’s very sad and scary. Actually, my husband and I were part of that percentage, just a year and half ago. Until some of our friends told us about a man we never heard before. Dave Ramsey and his plan to help people get out of debt and start living in financial peace.
We started doing the baby steps and all his plan, and just let me tell you that it has been the best decision we’ve ever made. It changed our lives for great! I highly suggest you to look into his plan if you want to learn how to be wise and good stuarts of your money.
These are The 7 Baby Steps.
First things first.
In order to do a budget you need an Income and Expenses. For that reason, you need to be aware of how much money you and your spouse bring home each month (after taxes). And how much money is going away on rent or mortgage, bills, pet care, debt, food, transportation, entertainment, clothes, etc. Just list down anything you spend money on.
Great! Now you know how much money you earn and how much money you spend. Let’s begin with the first step.
Your Income – Your Expenses = Zero
You know your Income and Expenses right? So, it’s time to list out every expense you have and assign dollar amounts to those expenses.
Let me give an example. This is the list of each category (expenses) we have at our home:
- House Downpayment
- Christmas Fund
- Pest Control
- MAA Connect
- Car’s Maintenance
- Fun Money
- Hair & Cosmetics
- Medicine & Vitamins
- Doctor Visits
- Life Insurance
- Auto Insurance
- Renter’s Insurance
Now we assign dollars to each category depending on the month. Some months are different, because you don’t have oil change for your car every month, right? For that reason you always need to look ahead. Think about the future expenses such as:
- Oil Change.
- Car Tags (taxes).
- Birthdays or celebrations.
Even if you get surprised by a special event like your best friend’s birthday or your niece’s birthday, you have a S.O.S Category which is MISCELLANEOUS! You have no idea how many times the money on this category have saved us (you’re welcome!).
The Goal is: Income – Expenses = Zero
Every Dollar Has A Name
Always have your budget where you can see it. This could be on a notebook (like we have) or/and get The Every Dollar App! Seriously, this will change your budgeting game. This app is amazing and the easiest way to do your budget and track your progress. We still use the notebook (because I’m so old school) and the app because it’s a great tool.
Get your spouse on board. I know this is easier said than done, but seriously. If you and your spouse aren’t on the same page financially and with the same goals in mind, this is not going to work.
You have to want something really bad to let go of fears and doubts and start doing it. So, please, think about it and make the decision to jump on board the ship that it’s going to transform your life and marriage for good!
Do it! You now know the steps to do the budget, so it’s time to sit down on a “Budget Date Night” as I call it, and get your notebooks and cellphones, and simply do it.
Gustavo and I do our budget on our dinner table the last Friday of each month and we make it a date. Why? Because this is the time when we’re working towards our future and marriage goals. So, maybe you pick the last Friday of each month or any other day, but you have “to do your budget on paper, on purpose, before the month begins.”
The Secret of getting ahead is getting started.
My friend, today is the day to start making changes and take back the control over our money! I hope you start doing the budget and let me know if I can be of any help.
You can ask me any questions or simply share your progress in the comments section. I’m cheering for you! GET THINGS DONE (wink).
Nathaly Tabares Photography, owned by Nathaly Tabares, focuses on Fine Art Products, Families, Lifestyle Newborn and Children, Maternity, and Engagement Photography. She is a passionate and fresh photographer and wall designer, and the majority of her work is completed outdoors with the use of natural lighting. She services the Duluth, Ga area and its surrounding suburbs.
Make sure to check out her work on https://www.nathalytabaresphotography.com. Be sure to check out some of her available collections and products on her website. If you are interested in booking a session, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to working with you!