When it comes to learning how to make a budget, it appears to be true for most people that it takes a financial crisis of some sorts to make us pay attention to household budgeting a bit more. If you did not grow up in a family that valued frugality and saving for the future then that basic foundation of knowledge about family budgeting may not exist.
If this is true for you, then I invite you to the rest of this article that will teach you some of the basic of basics. We all have to start somewhere, so it might as well be here.
1. Effective household budgeting enables you to be in the position for knowing where you should be modifying your lifestyle to accommodate what is being earned. Making the right adjustments in how to make a budget will go a long way to ensure a stress free financial future.
2. Understand the fundamental principles and mechanics for budgeting by reading, learning, and practicing. It takes a pound of determination and self discipline to make it work… And time. Specifically three months to understand the household budgeting process, six months to really get it down, and a full year to develop a realistic personal spending plan (a much nicer phrase than budget).
3. Make a distinction between fixed and variable expenses, as well as discretionary spending. Fixed expenses are ones that remain the same such as the mortgage, car payment, insurance, etc. Variable expenses include electricity, food, entertainment and the like. They change from month to month.
Discretionary spending is that which you have left over to spend on what you like. This is after all of the bills are paid and the putting away for savings has happened. A new television, iPad, candy bar, and Starbucks are all discretionary spending items (sorry to break that to you).
4. One of the most effective steps for how to make a budget is to categorize all of your expenses. Break each kind of regular expense into their own categories such as food, housing, entertainment, savings, etc. Watch this video that explains budgeting categories quite well.
5. Effective household budgeting helps you to identify the hidden expenses that exist, those that keep causing you to ask the question, "Wow. Where did all of our money go?"
6. Set up a filing system that works for your family. It could be a shoe box, folders, or something else. Make it so at any given time you are able to account for any expense.
Keep receipts for as long as necessary to possibly return an item to the store or use to justify a tax return deduction. A good way is to have an envelope for each of the places you frequent most so you are able to locate the receipt quicker.
Also, keep your tax returns for 7 to 10 years. You just never know.
7. A great way for learning how to make a budget is to emulate what others have done. Learn from them. Click around this website for different ideas and free budget worksheets. Talk with your spouse. Maybe you need a bit of financial coaching to get you going. Whatever it is, take action on something.
There are times when just conceptually understanding the household budgeting process is not enough. Get that practical perspective and get started on one now. The taking control of your finances should challenge and invigorate you enough to put into place your plan of action. Begin to learn how to make a budget today.
I would be happy to help you assess your own financial situation at no cost. Simply get in touch and let me know. And please share this page and share below what you yourself are learning about how to make a budget.