Budget planning can be a hard topic to get into. We all have different budgeting needs, and we all have things about our bank accounts we don’t want to talk about. It can be next to impossible to fit all of these factors into a neat little box! But when you want to get serious about saving money, and tracking your expenses, it’s important to try to make things easy so you know where to begin. I hope this post can help you to find some financial freedom. Keep reading for 3 ways to start budget planning.
Work Out Your Expenses First
If you’re going to build a budget, you’ve got to know what you’re spending every month (and every year!). Where is your money going? Are you spending more than you’re earning? Where are the savings you’re supposed to have by now? All of this information comes from working out your expenses, so take out your banking history and gather up those receipts you hold onto!
Figure Out Your Needs
The next thing to do is to figure out your financial needs, and where you can cut down on costs. And remember, there is a big difference between what you need to spend money on and what you want to spend money on. Things like your bills and your commuting costs, etc., are all necessary expenses. Those luxury items? Not quite so essential.
You can always use an online calculator to your advantage here. A site like Pigly.Com could be just what you’re looking for, to get a base number on how much that future mortgage or that loan is going to cost you. Factoring in even just potential expenses is going to save you a lot of time, money, and effort down the line, so it’s a good thing you’re not having to work on these numbers alone!
Track When Spending is Likely to Go Up
And then you’re going to have to work in a little wiggle room. Your expenses are not always going to look the same, and a budget never has to be set in stone. It needs to be flexible, and open to revision, especially during times such as Christmas or the summer vacation period.
Spending goes up during these times, and knowing that you’ll need to save for them is key! So, take receipts from last year’s holiday period and work out what all those presents and food cost you, and be sure to note this down in your budget. You’ll probably be looking at a similar cost this year too.
If you’ve got a budget to plan, don’t let your fear of money (or your confusion over how to handle it!) hold you back. There are plenty of easy ways to get started, so keep 3 ways to start budget planning in mind.