Jun 25

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Budget 101 – Class 1

I am going to be posting a few tips on budgeting over the next few days. Many people (previously myself included!) think “Oh no, a budget! I don’t want to be controlled!” However a budget gives you a lot of freedom to make choices on what you’re going to spend your money on and track exactly what where your hard-earned money is going! You are also able to set realistic goals once you are able to track your spending so saving for a vacation, college, or a big purchase feels a lot more manageable.

So let’s get started! Today we’re going to just get items ready for our budget. Take a deep breath – here we go!

  • Before starting, I recommend downloading Open Office. This is like Microsoft Office in a lot of ways, but I actually like it a little better and I never run into issues with a feature I want not being available. It’s free and you can download it here. I use this budget form template which is compatible with Open Office and free. They also have a Microsoft version you can choose instead. Be sure not to delete any of the columns, even if you aren’t using them because it will mess up the formulas for you!
  • First, gather your paychecks, checkbook ledger, bills, and credit card statements.
  • Second, take a look at where your money is going. Take a moment to think about where you have spent your cash as well – $20 to the baby sitter, $5 for a snack, etc. Make sure to include these items as well!
  • Third, review your paychecks to determine your monthly income. Make sure to also include in your income any child support or alimony you receive or any other forms of income (at home business, etc).

Okay – enough handled for now!! You survived and that wasn’t so scary! Stay tuned for the next step 🙂

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