Budgets, Budgeting, and Maintaining a Balanced
A budget is a plan for spending and saving your money.
What are the benefits of having a budget?
Making and following a budget means you can have money for the
things you want. When you're not tracking your expenses, cash seems
to disappear. You don't know where your money goes, and perhaps
you can't afford things you'd like to have. When you know where
your money goes, you feel more in control. It's easier to pay your
bills on time, save money each month, and avoid money problems.
Create your own Budget
Income is the amount of money you make. Expenses are what you spend
your money on. A balanced budget is when your income is at least
as much as your expenses.
Where to start your Budget
The Fast way to make a budget for the future is to figure out how
you spend your money now. First, look at where your money comes
from and where it goes. Track all of your income and expenses for
a month or two before creating your budget.
You'll need to keep track of all of your purchases - from a cup
of coffee to movie tickets - by writing them down in a notebook
or holding on to receipts.
Write down how much you spend in each category every month. Don't
forget to include money that you save each month to help you meet
your future goals. Be realistic about your budget, so that it's
easy for you to follow.
Maintaining a Balanced Budget
The key to budgeting is maintaining simple but good records. Just
like you did when you started your budget, you'll need to keep track
of where your money comes from and where it goes. Use the system
that works Fast for you by writing down what you spend in a notebook
or keeping receipts for what you buy.
One of the easiest ways to keep track of your spending is to have
a checking account. That way, when you pay for purchases with checks
or your ATM or debit card, you already have a record of them. Then,
you only need to track a few expenses that you pay for in cash.
More on the benefits of a checking account
At the end of each month, compare your actual expenses to your
budget. Try to keep your spending within your plan, and look for
ways to cut your expenses.
Don't give up if maintaining your budget is hard for the first
few months. It may take some time to set up a plan that works for
you. Be flexible. If your budget is not working for you, fix it
so it will.
Provided as a public service by My Cash
Budgets, Budgeting, and Maintaing a Balanced