First thing’s first – what is a budget? Put simply, this will give you a clear picture of where your money is disappearing to, and how much you can save on a regular basis (which could be a small fortune).
You’ll need to ask yourself the ultimate question; what are your spending habits like? No wincing – take out your pencil and lay it all out on the table. A good place to start is your monthly bills, like your mortgage and electricity. Making a note of what’s coming into your account each month and where it’s spent are the core principles to any budget. This knowledge will help you take back control of your finances and make plans for the future. To get started, read our four steps to making a budget below.
Step One: Taking a Look at My Finances
Before you start, it’s a good idea to really get familiar with your own incomings and spending habits. It’s amazing how much we let slip through our radar when it comes to small buys (like our morning coffee and pastry).
Step Two: The Big Budget On Paper
Now it’s time to get down to business and get things down on paper (or web page). A good old fashioned calculator will be your trusted companion at this point.
Step Three: Managing My Budget Day-to-Day
Intentions are all well and good on paper – but when it comes to keeping to your plans, things can get a little trickier than anticipated. So it requires keeping an eagle eye on your own habits and impulses, and comparing your actual spend with your projected spend on a daily basis.
Step Four: Use Free Budget Tips and Resources
Last but not least – there’s a wealth of tools and tips online which will make budgeting so much easier. Here’s some ideas.