Are you tired of reaching the end of every month wondering where your money went? It is a very common issue to come across in today’s world, but we are here to offer several different tips on how to plan a budget and more importantly, stick to it!
Write down your total income for the month
This is your total take-home (after tax) pay for both you and, if you’re married, your spouse. Don’t forget to include everything—full-time jobs, second jobs, freelance pay, Social Security checks, and any other ongoing sources of income.
List all your expenses
Think about your regular bills (mortgage, electricity, etc.) and your irregular bills (quarterly payments like insurance or HOA) that are due for the upcoming month. After that, total your other costs, like food, gas, and entertainment. Every dollar you spend should be accounted for.
Subtract expenses from income to equal zero
This is called a zero-based budget, meaning your income minus your expenses should equal zero. If you’re over or under, check your math or simply return to the previous step and try again.
Track your expenses throughout the month
Once you start the budget, you’ll still need to stay on top of your expenses. Shop around for a journal you can jot your spending down in or an app that allows for expense tracking.