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How to Budget: Steps to Get Started

Posted on 30 October 2014

At Spergel, we often hear that one of the most common barriers to setting up a monthly household budget is not knowing how to budget. The importance of reviewing your expenses to draft a budget can make a big difference in how you manage your money. An accurate budget may only need a monthly review once you get into the swing of things. Taking some extra time to learn how to budget and setting one now will likely result in better money management long term. This will in turn lead to less time spent worrying about whether or not you can afford that next purchase you are contemplating.

Budgeting can be done in many different ways, therefore, we have listed some key points below to help you learn how to budget. This way, you can find the method that works best for you and stick to it:

Set budgeting goals

Understand what it is you are trying to achieve, and how you plan to get there. Including incentives can also be a helpful tactic when it comes to budgeting. The most important thing is to ensure you set realistic goals so that there is less risk you will not successfully meet your targets.

Try informal tracking

If you are unsure of your income and expenses each month, it may be less intimidating by tracking them informally initially. You can learn how to budget by writing them down on paper, or even keeping your receipts. Once you have a good handle on how much income you earn and what you are spending it on, you can develop your budget.

Create an action plan

Putting a plan in place will help you to stay on track. You should include recurring expenses, as well as one-offs. You can then begin to build out your action plan based on short term, mid term, and long term financial goals. This way, you have a steady guide to work to, which will help you learn how to budget gradually.

Use cash

For many, removing the temptation of debit or credit cards can be a helpful factor in learning how to budget. Using just cash can help to ration your funds, and its tangibility may make you think twice about spending. Cash can also help to prevent impulse buys that are easy to make when using cards.

Separate major expenses

Creating separate cash pots for major expenses like bills or grocery shops can help sort the essential from the non-essential. Include the exact amount from your budget, and resist spending any more. This will help you to understand how much you are able to spend for each category each month.

Manage irregular expenses

Sometimes, unexpected expenses can pop up, from utility bills to vehicle repairs. Knowing how to budget means that you can be prepared for these. Making plans to save will mean these irregular expenses become more manageable. Equally, working with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee can help you to review your debt and discover how it can be reduced.

A solid budget can have a very positive impact on your financial wellbeing. If you find that your expenses are greatly outweighing your income, it may be time to discuss the situation with a professional to see if there is anything that you can do to gain debt relief. In particular, if you are paying a lot of interest on your debts each month, it may be time to see a Licensed Insolvency Trustee to review your options.

To learn more about budgeting and your options for debt relief, contact us at 310-4321, email us, or visit our nearest location for a free consultation. You can also fill out our free assessment form online and one of our representatives will contact you directly. Let us help you live for your future today.

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