Personal Finance – Easy Budgeting Tips

With this fresh new decade, two things are true. It is cold this time of year and people will make new years resolutions. The problem is that most will not see their resolutions through. One of the biggest ones people make is to get their finances in order. With the economy the way it is and people struggling to keep or find jobs, financial stability is more important now than it has been in most of our lives.

A key step towards financial stability is having a workable budget. I would argue that having one is the key foundation towards righting your monetary sanity. Many times people will get ahead of themselves and try to hit a home run investing. I know I have tried that. it is a part of our modern culture to get what we want when we want it. And we want it now. The problem with that, when it comes to personal finance, is that if we have spent years being irresponsible it will take some time to fix those past mistakes. It won’t happen over night. But it can happen. And starting a budget will get that ball rolling.

When starting a budget, you can get overwhelmed. There are tons of tricks out there. There are tons of formulas. The truth is, it is quite simple. So here I will lay out some general tips. If you follow these tips, you can build a budget that works.

First, you need to identify your bills. Just sit down and go over your bills. Every recurring cost. While doing this, you may be able to identify areas where you can make a cut or two. But don’t get too caught up in that. Just worry about finding what you have.

Next, and this can be a little harder, figure out your weekly living expenses. This is your groceries, lunches, gas, and those types of things. Don’t worry about being exact when starting out. Just get an idea. Then identify your extra expenses. This will be entertainment type stuff. Think of it more as wants instead of needs.

Once you have all of these laid out you can start a simple budget. Start with your monthly take home pay. Then go down in level of importance. Start with savings. I know I didn’t mention it earlier because I am assuming you don’t have one and haven’t made it a priority. Most haven’t. But you should. Just start small, like ten dollars a month. Then take out your bills. Then your living expenses. And finally your entertainment.

Once you have these laid out, you have a budget. Try sticking with it as best you can. Don’t worry about knocking out all your debt right away. You want to get comfortable with working with a budget before your start tweaking it too much. When you do, always do so in small amounts. Setting small stepping goals will help keep you motivated to keep progressing.

The new decade brings the promise of new possibilities. You may have dreams of the future, but most of those dream will require you to take the first steps toward financial stability. If you follow these easy budgeting tips, you will be well on your way.

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