Many people are still struggling to make ends meet and with the new announcement from the government that beginning on July 1, 2014 our money is going to be worth half of what it is now, all of us are going to have to work very hard to make ends meet. The first step in ensuring you have enough is to create a budget. There are many websites online that discuss this and make it very complicated. This article is going to break it down to make it simple again.
The first thing you need to do when creating a budget is create a list of all of your expenses. This does not mean just your bills it means every expense you have items such as gas for the car, cigarettes if you smoke, pet supplies, groceries, clothes, and household supplies should be listed. Any money you spend on hobbies such as fishing or hiking should also be listed. This is a list of everything that you spend money on. If you spend 60 dollars a week on fast food, list it.
After you create the list, go over the dollar amounts for each item if you are not for sure how much you spend at this point is it okay to estimate, personally I try to estimate a little over if I don’t really know the amount because we generally think we are spending less than we really are. Now you need to create another list. This is a list of your income, this can be from your job, and any money you make on the side, child support, alimony, or any public assistance you may receive.
Now it is time to look at the two dollar amounts. If the second list is not less than the first we have work to do. You need to look at all of the items on your list that are not necessary. These can be items such as a cable bill, fast food, hobbies, or cigarettes. It all depends on what you feel is necessary in life. Personally I cut our satellite because at 100 dollars per month it just wasn’t something I could say was necessary when we can download everything we want to watch online.
Next you should look at which bills can be lowered, can you cut back on that cell phone bill a little, or maybe do some things that would lower your electric bill. Can you drive less or quit smoking? These again are very personal choices you have to make, it all comes down to how much money you are want to save and what you are willing to give up.
Now you can create one final list. This is going to be your actual budget. You take everything that you have decided is important and put it on the list. Add up all the totals hopefully it is less than your income, if it is not you have to go over it again cutting until you reach a point where you are at least breaking even. Once you begin this you will start to notice it is easier to cut back. If you go over your budget monthly, you can easily begin having money left over at the end of the month.