Updated: Sep 7
Creating a budget is the most significant thing you can do to manage your money efficiently, but people are often reluctant to start. A budget is a simple tool showing how much money you have coming in and how that money gets spent. Budgets are essential as they help you track your expenses, control your spending, and save more money. A budget can also help you make better financial decisions, get out of debt, save for emergencies, and stay focused on your long-term financial goals.
To get an idea of where you stand financially, you’ll need to get a copy of your latest statements from all your creditors and list them. It would help if you record your budget, so find a method that works for you. A few budget method examples include:
Pen and paper
Free or paid for budgeting apps available for your cellphone
Choose what works for you best. Once you have everything, you can get started.
Have a Plan and Budget
Using your chosen budgeting method, list your income and expenses. Give every dollar a name and budget to zero. This method is widely known as a zero-based budget. Budgeting your money to zero won’t mean you have no money left. It simply means your income minus your expenses are equal to zero.
Once all your expenses, including debt, are allocated to their respective amounts, you can add categories for retirement savings, other savings, and miscellaneous spending. Track your progress throughout the month by keeping track of how you spend your money on your chosen budgeting method. Don’t overspend on any of your categories unnecessarily. The most important thing for you to understand is that controlling your outflow of money is more important than the money you bring in.
Reexamine Your Budget
After monitoring your income and expenses over a month or two, you’ll become more aware of the areas that need adjusting. Make the necessary adjustments, but continue to consider that your inflows and outflows must balance. No budget is consistently the same and needs to be reviewed often. If your income increases, increase your savings goals or debt repayment if you have any. In contrast, if you lose an income, you will need to cut back on your spending and prioritize your money to your more important expenses.
Commit to Your Budget
Once you’ve worked out everything in your budget, you need to commit to following it. Committing to your budget will bring you one step closer to being financially sound and creating a financially positive future for your family. Stay optimistic and continue to evaluate your budget often, and adjust where necessary. Budgeting is all about balance and controlling how your money gets spent. Don’t let your money control you, but rather, learn to stay in control over your cash flow.
If you need help in creating a budget or advice on saving more efficiently, you can contact us for a free consultation at SK Capital. We are committed to helping our clients manage their money and set themselves and their families up for their futures.
If you are responsible for managing your company’s retirement plan and are concerned about your current investment options, I can help. My specialty is reviewing and adding 99% value to all of my clients’ retirement plans. Contact me today If you’re ready to get the most value from your company’s retirement plan and protect yourself from personal liability as your company’s fiduciary.