Make A Budget: It’s worth the time and Effort

Everyone who earns or who uses money should have a budget. From children that get $1.00 in weekly allowances to retirees that are receiving pensions and other retirement checks. It’s all about planning to become financially secure. A budget is a plan that shows you how you can spend your money every month. Making a budget can help you make sure you do not run out of money each month. A budget also will help you save money for your goals or for emergencies.

How do I make a budget?

  • Track your daily spending for at least 2months to determine how much money you are spending.
  • Write down your expenses. Expenses are what you spend money on. Expenses include:

Bills:

Bills that are the same each month, like rent bills that might change each month, like utilities bills you pay once or twice a year, like car insurance

Other expenses, like:

  • Food
  • Gas
  • Entertainment
  • Clothes
  • School supplies
  • Allowances
  • Unplanned expenses, like car repairs or medical bills
  • Credit card bills

Some bills change every month. Look at what you paid for the same month last year. You might need $150 for your gas bill in January, but $100 in July.

Write down how much money you make. This includes your paychecks and any other money you get, like child support.

Subtract your expenses from how much money you make. This number should be more than zero. If it is less than zero, you are spending more money than you make. Look at your budget to see what you do not need or what you could spend less on.

How do I use my budget?

You can use your budget every month:

At the beginning of the month, make a plan for how you will spend your money that month.

Write what you will earn and spend.

Write down what you spend. Try to do this every day.

At the end of the month, see if you spent what you planned.

Use the information to help you plan the next month’s budget.

Always revisit your budget each month so find where your “leaks” in your budget may be.

For more information and resources to help you establish a budget contact the Gadsden County Extension Office at 850 875 7255

 

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