Monday, March 25, 2013

Budgeting 101

Hello, Beautiful Birdies! Although I inspired Spring in my heart on Friday, the snow still came on Sunday {sigh} and apparently more is to come today and tomorrow. What the what?? It is March, right?  Almost April? Well I am going to put my big girl pants on today and get over it! Time to move on the next adventure....SPRING CLEANING!

Since the weather isn't exactly moving me to break out the duster and to open all the windows, I thought I would share with you a different way to spring "clean."  Most people tend to think of this time of year as a great time to freshen up the house and, although I agree, don't forget to spruce up your spending habits. The great thing about this "clean up" is that it has long lasting effects!  With some simple addition and subtraction + this budget form you can completely transform your money! Wanna see? Check-check-check it out!

1. Total up your monthly income. In this example, I put in $5,000.
2. Next, add up all your bills (i.e. water bill, cable, etc.)
3. Subtract your total monthly expenses from your monthly income. The remaining amount will be divided a few ways.
4. Total up your regular monthly expenses outside of your actual bills, like groceries and entertainment.
5. Subtract those expenses from the "remaining amount" listed above. EXAMPLE: $3,115 - $1,060 (EXPENSES) = $2,055.
6. Take that final amount ($2,055) and split it up into categories for savings. For fun, figure out the percentage. This gives you an even clearer idea of exactly where your money is going. To take it all a step further, multiply these amounts by 12 (as in 12 months or 1 year). I guarantee you will get pumped once you see how much money you can have by the end of the year. EXAMPLE: $1,745 x 12 = $20,940.

I made this budget form for my own personal usage but also to share with all of you. You can download it by clicking HERE. Don't worry, it's free. ;-) Creating a budget really helps put things into focus and makes saving money even easier than before because now you have set limits and goals.

A budget isn't something to hold you back but rather something to launch you forward into a brighter future. With this budget form, I tried to give you some ideas of how to fill it out but keep in mind, this is your money we are talking about. Add to it as you need. For example, if you have a credit card bill you want to get rid of, add it to your list of monthly payments and chip away it. Before you know it, that debt will be gone!

You may have noticed the middle section is about dividing up your money for cash envelopes. Yep, rockin' it old school! Next week, I am going to give you a break down of using cash envelopes for your monthly expenses (outside of actual bills). The benefits are many and using that system is the perfect compliment to a budget so be sure to stop by next Monday to learn more about cash envelopes!

Do you use a budget now? What about cash envelopes? Have you recently reached a financial goal??  Keep up the good work! :-)

Thank you for reading and be sure to come back for more! HAVE A GREAT DAY! :-)

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