Kristin Fink September 29, 2020 Budget
We need to actually monitor our spending habits to find out the best way to maximize our financial resources. The best way to do this is to keep track of every purchase made, regardless of whether you use a check, credit card, or cash. In learning how to prepare a budget, it is important that this is done for two to three months.
Budgeting can be difficult at times, balancing everything out so at the end of the day you are in the black. However, a little time and a little effort is all that is really needed to make sure that a budget is a success. If you are having financial difficulties and are not sure how to budget, there are a number of resources that can help you. These resources include people like financial advisors, online resources, or even books that can give you a step by step guide to making sure you stay within your means and have what you want in life.
A budget calculator found online, however, is likely to be a fairly simple tool that limits accuracy. In order to calculate finances more accurately, look for an online financial planning software that includes fields such as living expenses, other expenses for miscellaneous expenditures, as well as home mortgage payments, property taxes and more. Allowing for a few generic fields such as other monthly payments or other expenses can also be a good addition to a calculator for a monthly or annual budget.
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.
Go through your discretionary expenses and see if there is anything you could do without - eating out once a month instead of once a week, walking to work rather than using the car every day or taking a packed lunch instead of going to the café. If your budget calculator shows that you do not appear to be able to live within your budget, do not despair - there are steps you can take.
As far as money allotted for paying down debt like credit cards and student loans, you can shave a little off of savings until the balances are paid down or paid off completely. It is important with credit card debt to pay more than the minimum amount due, otherwise you are paying mostly interest and very little of your balance. Student loans however can be paid off in minimum payments without costing you enormous interest rates.