When you first start budgeting it can feel like you’re doing the impossible. It doesn’t have to be like trying to do rocket science. Below are is the simple beginners guide to budgeting.
The key to having a successful budget is finding the budget that makes your money work for you, and still allows you to enjoy life. A budget shouldn’t suffocate you. There are times where you have to limit your spending and yes you will have spending limits, but these limits shouldn’t be so severe you no longer enjoy life.
Your budget shouldn’t be set in stone and never changing. Life changes and stuff happens. The key to a great budget is finding one that fits you and your family’s lifestyle.
1: The Time Is Now
There is no better time to start budgeting. Take control of your money now. Don’t wait until next month. The minute you take control of your money instead of letting it control you is the minute you take back your life.
If you’re brand new to budgeting this post I wrote on starting a budget is a great first step. It’ll walk you through a few different types of budgeting, and it will help you figure out which one is best for you.
2: Start Tracking
The first step to taking control of your money is knowing where it’s going. You can’t make a goal if you don’t know where you can make changes, and what you can realistically achieve.
Start tracking where you are spending every dollar and where every dollar is coming from. In this stage even if it’s .50 cent write it down in a journal! You might just start finding some of your weaknesses.
Someone once told me “show me where a man spends his money and I’ll tell you what he values”
After you’ve tracked your spending for a week or two it’s time set some realistic goals.
What is your goal? Do you have debt? Are you saving for something like a house, college, or a car? Your goal should be personal to you and your family. What will make you and your family happy and secure?
It’s the perfect time to start fitting your goals into your monthly budget. Remember you should have a short-term goal and a long term. If you don’t know what your goals are you can’t make a plan to reach them.
4: Be Real with yourself
Don’t fudge your numbers. You can’t change your habits, set goals, or take control of your money without knowing the truth.
You didn’t get into debt overnight and you for sure will not get out of it overnight. Budgeting isn’t a race it’s a marathon and you have to be in it for the long run. Make sure your focusing on your future not short term.
No budget should stay the same forever. As you start making your money work for you, and getting our of debt your budget will change. You have to learn to allow yourself time to adjust and change your budget.
What works for you today, might not work for you in a few months. It’s all about setting aside time to make necessary changes to your budget.
Are you a beginner budgeter?