Sitting down and making up a budget is just about as much fun as doing your taxes. But having a budget and finding ways to stick to it, are necessary parts of life if you want to have a healthy financial bottom line. Many times when a task seems too hard, it becomes easier with a little research and after you get started you may wonder why you ever put it off initially. This is true of writing that term paper you didn’t want to write while in school, preparing for a presentation at work, and even developing a financial plan that fits your income and financial goals.
Luckily, we have done some of the research for you and this should make getting down to business about a budget a little easier. Three keys to coming up with a budget that works for you include:
- Identify the amount of money you make every month, and how much of it you have to spend on living expenses. At first the best idea is to write down all of your expenses, even the ones you think you can do without. Once you see, on paper, where you money goes every month you will be able to start making adjustments.
- Don’t forget to include unexpected expenses such as car repair and maintenance, and the monthly cost of any semi-annual or annual insurance policies.
- Include a part in your budget that allows you to save for emergencies. This is sometimes referred to as creating an emergency fund and it is important that when used the event is an actual emergency. Going on a vacation or buying something new does not constitute an emergency.
You should also remember to take into account any amount you tithe each month or give to charity as well as the expenses associated with extracurricular activities. It is also a good idea to have a catchall category of “miscellaneous”. This gives you a little breathing room so you are not tempted to spend outside of your budget. You also need to be realistic and look for expenses you can eliminate. For many this means brown bagging it a few days a week, or renting a movie rather than going to the theater. Whatever works for you, find it and do your best not to deviate from your plan. If you do find yourself in dire straits and in need of financial help with your bills, do remember that you have choices. Call us to find out what to do if your budget has gotten off track and you need help finding a fresh financial start.
For more information about money, debt management, and budgets, contact us at www.DsouzaLegalGroup.com. We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you, which could include bankruptcy or other workout plans with your creditors.