Makayla Maudsley October 4, 2020 Budget
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.
Adjust your Budget: Firstly your mortgage - you have several options here. You could increase the term of your mortgage, making your monthly payments lower. You could take a further advance and use the money to pay off your much more expensive credit cards - it is important to get rid of your most expensive debts first. Next check that you are with the cheapest suppliers for gas, electric, telephone and internet - it is not much trouble to switch and you could save a lot of money.
However, even if a budget calculator reveals that you have surplus funds each month, you should not necessarily assume a loan or investment venture is right for you. For instance, if you are left with surplus money each month, but you do not have a savings, you might want to consider putting your money towards a savings rather than an investment. It is usually a good idea to put some money aside, just in case you suddenly need it. After all, you never know when a financial situation can take you by surprise.
A budget tends to have different headings for various kinds of income and spending, against which you can note down your own figures. Monthly outgoings are a good starting point for any budding budget planners. Begin by making a record of exactly what you spend money on each month. If you cannot remember all outgoings off the top of your head then take a look at recent bank statements and look for regular payments such as gas, electricity, telephone, rent and council tax. If you have any direct debits or standing orders do not forget to include these.
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.
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.