Budget

Budgeting in reality is not simple. It’s a complicated mess and hard to stick with sometimes. Although it can be extremely helpful to see where your money is really going. How much are you spending on lunch everyday? What is that morning coffee costing you? To get a clear picture of what you are working with I suggest you go about your business for a month. In this month keep every receipt you spend, this includes gas, groceries, that quick trip to the mall, everything. Collect all your bills or statements that you received as well as your pay stubs. Keep it together until you are ready to go over every detail.

First, lay it all out on the table. Grab a piece of paper or even a calendar to see when the full bill is due.

At the top right of the paper I will write how much my check will be coming up.

Next I will itemize the bills that need to be paid out of this check on the left and on the right side under my pay will be the bill amount.

Payroll Date                           $0.00

Daycare                                   $0.00
MTG                                          $0.00
Groceries                                 $0.00
Gas                                            $0.00
Misc.                                         $0.00
Credit Card#1                         $0.00
Credit Card#2                         $0.00
Savings                                    $0.00
Anything left?                        $0.00

Once I have this all together I will go into my online banking bill pay system and set the payments up for my payroll date. In an effort to pay off my debt faster I usually roll my ‘Anything left?’ into my debt or if there is a holiday/birthday coming up I will throw it into a fund for my kids.

What were you spending on everyday little items? Looking over your expenses did you see if there was anything you could eliminate or maybe make it a once a week splurge? I myself recently cut back on my morning shakes. I was in the habit of going every morning before work. That is $37.50 for a week, which I have now designated it a Friday only treat to get myself ready for the day ahead.

black calculator near ballpoint pen on white printed paper