Natasha O'sullivan September 27, 2020 Budget
Saving on a regular basis may seem like a mammoth undertaking and one that you could only achieve after a hefty pay rise. In fact, this is one of the common excuses that we all use to avoid building a nest-egg, but putting a little money aside each month should not be seen as a pursuit only for those with money to burn. In fact, saving can be a straight-forward process that is achievable by anybody, regardless of their monthly income and financial outgoings. All that is needed is careful planning.
An online budget calculator is one such tool. These tools can help balance out your monthly household income and any savings you may have against various expenses - like regular bills, household expenses, automobile and health related costs, leisure and travel expenditures, and childcare related costs - to give you an idea of how much surplus money you are left with each month.
When considering housing expenses, you may be over your limit. An average target is 35%. If you own your home, you ca not just sell it and move back with Mom and Dad to save money and refinancing may cost you more in closing costs than you are actually saving. If you need a little extra in one part take it from another. Reduce some of your more flexible expenses like a cell phone bill or clothing costs. Find a less expensive plan and shop the sales at the department stores.
First of all, at the top of the list is your income which can be divided into 2 categories: paycheck and other after-tax income. These are the only categories in the income part of the calculator. The rest is occupied by various categories of expenses. The first category of expenses is housing expenses which include the following subcategories: Property (mortgage/rent/property tax), Utilities (Gas, Water, Electricity), Phone, TV and Internet.
Food shopping - always make a list, it is too easy to pick up things you do not really need. Consider buying different brands if they are cheaper, instead of just picking up the one you always get. You will find that fruit and vegetables are generally cheaper from a market or a greengrocer - and you have the added advantage of only buying what you want (instead of a pack of three lettuces for instance). Hope this has helped with your budget calculations.
While we may know how much money we have coming in, studies show that most of us do not know what is going out. Not knowing how much money we spend each month may put us in a position where we need money that we do not have. We may end up using credit cards or getting a payday loan to cover the shortfall.