Sophie Moench September 25, 2020 Budget
A spending outline that has everything you spend money on and stays within the acceptable income range is considered to be a good budget. It is also important to remember to include things like saving money for retirement, emergency expenses or schooling. Many people find budgeting a chore because they do not have direction or goals laid out as part of the budget. When you consider things like what you want to have in the next five years, for example, having paid off the car or mortgage, it makes it easier to sit down and take the time to budget with those goals in mind.
There are always going to be unexpected bills, if your car breaks down or pet needs to be taken to the vet. These are problematic to accurately account for so it might be easier to set aside a contingency amount each month for unplanned expenses. Next step in the budget is to list all of your income. Look at recent payslips to get an accurate figure for wages and remember to include any benefits you receive, such as Child Tax Credit.
Following this, you have food expenses which also includes the food you buy when you eat out. Another category of expenses is the entertainment category which involves going out to the movies, concerts and plays. One last major category of expenses is the insurance category where you will need to pay car, home, health, disability and dental insurance. This is a category that is often left out by people doing budgets.
You realize the basic idea, but what if you do not fit into this category either. If your debt is far less manageable you can contact your local Consumer Credit Counseling Service or a debt consolidation company to help you get back on track. If your credit is still in good shape you may be able to get a low interest loan to consolidate debt yourself with monthly payments you can afford.
If you are in financial difficulty, then debt consolidation by refinancing your home can be a good idea. But beware of refinancing your home to 100% of its equity. If you do this to the full extent of your home equity, then it will be quite some time before you are able to raise future funds against your property, if they are needed. This will leave you with no emergency financial cushion. And it will take a few years for your finances to stabilize once more. Find out what the law is where you live. Some states will not allow you to borrow more than 80% of the value of your home.
To make this exercise easier, ask for receipts for each purchase you make. In the interim, we should keep our receipts in envelopes labeled for each budget category. Then, take time at least once each week to review those receipts and tabulate the totals for each category. After two or three months, you have much more information to work with and are better able to find trends in your spending habits. Then, it will be easier to make the necessary adjustments so that your budget accurately reflects your spending lifestyle.