Begin Building a Better Financial Future Through Financial Management, Budgeting, Saving, and Investing!
This course will introduce what money management is and why it is so important that you have control of your finances so that your finances do not control you. You will also gain a better understanding of how to create and maintain a budget, the best saving options, and how to harness the power of compound interest to get your money to make money.
Hope to see you in class again soon!
Make a Budget in 6 Simple Steps
1. Download Your Budget Excel File - (Personal Monthly Budget)
Attached is an Excel file containing a simple personal budget. Edit, add or delete any information in order to best reflect your income and expense items.
2. Record all of your sources of income.
If you are self-employed or have any outside sources of income, be sure to record these as well. If your income is in the form of a regular paycheck where taxes are automatically deducted, then using the net income (or take-home pay) amount is fine. Record this total income as a monthly amount.
3. Create a list of monthly expenses.
Write down a list of all the expected expenses you plan on incurring over the course of a month. This includes house payments, car payments, auto insurance, groceries, utilities, entertainment, dry cleaning, student loans, retirement or college savings.— essentially everything you spend money on.
4. Break expenses into two categories: fixed and variable.
Fixed expenses are those that stay relatively the same each month and are required parts of your way of living. They included expenses such as your mortgage or rent, car payments, cable and/or internet service, trash pickup, credit card payments and so on. These expenses, for the most part, are essential yet not likely to change in the budget.
Variable expenses are the type that will change from month to month and include items such as groceries, gasoline, entertainment, eating out, and gifts, to name a few. This category will be important when making adjustments.
5. Total your monthly income and monthly expenses.
If your end result shows more income than expenses, you are off to a good start. This means you can prioritize this excess to areas of your budget such as retirement savings paying more on credit card balances to eliminate that debt faster. If you are showing a higher expense column than income, it means some changes will have to be made.
6. Make adjustments to expenses.
If you have accurately identified and listed all of your expenses, the ultimate goal would be to have your income and expense columns to be equal. This means all of your income is accounted for and budgeted for a specific expense or savings goal.
If you're in a situation where expenses are higher than income, you should look at your variable expenses to find areas to cut. Since these expenses are typically non-essential, it should be easy to shave a few dollars in a few areas to bring you closer to your income.
Congratulations! You now have a working budget. Make sure to manage it every month.