Everyone can do much better with their funds by having a monthly budget to save money in place. With a budget, it is far less likely to lose track of your spending and get into any kind of financial trouble. If you decide that it is right for you to have one, read up on how to do so.
What you need to do first, is find out an approximate amount for your monthly income. Even if this varies, it will help to have that baseline amount. You can be flexible with your “extras” or set aside savings, in case you have to take some time off from work or have an emergency come up.
Think of categories of your expenditures that you have on a monthly basis – food, bills, insurance, rent, personal items, entertainment, etc. If you are not sure of the exact dollar amounts for how much you spend on each, you can collect your receipts, credit card bills, and other documentation to remind you.
Where to Trim
If you want to spend less, you need to evaluate your needs and wants. For things like food, clothing, and entertainment, you can seek out less expensive alternatives and use coupons, among other things. In many areas, there are plenty of free or low-cost things you can do for dates or with the family.
Factor in Debt
Have some student loans that have been in forbearance? How about old credit card bills that got to be too much to handle? Make a plan now to pay even just a little bit each month, and you can breathe a sigh of relief. Nothing is worse than feeling as though you have so many obligations that you can’t tackle, but it is possible if you prepare.
A good way to keep track of your monthly income and expenses is to use an electronic database. You can create a ledger, the same as you would in a notebook or check book. It’s always important to back up the database on a hard drive, in case your computer crashes and you lose what you’re working on.
The unforeseen may happen – a rise in gas prices, invites to more social events such as weddings, engagement and birthday parties, rising food prices, etc. When you notice this, you can go into your database and see what can be adjusted. It’s always possible to say no to invitations to go out, but you may want to splurge on a fun night every once in a while.