Budgeting Basics for Beginners
Have you ever wondered where your money goes? Do you have any idea what you actually owe, spend and save each month? If you don’t have a written budget, then you may not be completely sure. Perhaps you have a general idea, but it would be hard to keep all those numbers in your head!
My husband and I are huge budget fans. Neither of us had a written budget when we met. However, we created a budget right after we got married, and the impact on our finances and marriage has been truly amazing.
Budgeting Basics for Beginners
The need for a plan to pull off our (lofty!) financial goals led us to a budget. Now, I’m not a numbers person by nature. I’m the girl that cried during math class. (Ahem…) Early in my career, I was brought to tears (as I hid in my office) after budget meetings. I found numbers and budgeting to be flat out frightening. However, I have a completely different mindset now.
What I’m trying to say is that if I can budget, then anyone can budget! My husband and I knew the goals that we had prayerfully set would require a strategic plan which resulted in what I call our budgeting journey.
Today, I want to share 4 budgeting basics that I hope simplify the process for you to write one yourself! Budgets give you freedom and will ultimately bless your home.
What’s a budget?
A budget is simply a written plan. Think of it as a “road map” for your finances. Dave Ramsey says, “A budget is telling your money where to go rather than wondering where it went.” I find that people never plan to fail but they often fail to plan. When it comes to your finances, I believe that it is essential to have a written family budget to track your income, expenses and savings.
Why a budget?
You may not be running a business but you are running a household. A budget helps you to spend your money wisely and reach your family’s goals. Suzie Orman once said, “Thoughtful financial planning can easily take a backseat to everyday life.” Don’t let that be your story! If you have a written plan in place then you can spend, save and give as you’ve allocated without fear, doubt or regret.
- Choose a budget template
Time to choose your budget’s design! My husband and I use an Excel spreadsheet. Good old pen and paper work great too. Check out Pinterest where you’ll find a plethora of budget printables that are easy to use. After you choose a template, gather the information necessary to begin to track your income, expenses and savings. In the beginning, this may seem like a lot of work, but you’ll see that it gets easier!
- Just start!
The goal to begin a budget is great but you need follow-through to make it happen. Start today!
Steps to begin a budget include:
- Write down all of your net income.
- Research and estimate what you typically spend on bills, charitable giving and debts each month.
- Brainstorm and decide on any savings goals you’d like to incorporate in your budget.
- Select a user-friendly budget template and begin!
I’m passionate about budgeting and the fact that it enables people to pay off debt, give more, save money and manage their finances more strategically. My hope is that this budgeting basics overview will inspire you to consider a budget for your own home! To help you continue with creating your budgets visit my page and join me on a 4 Part Tear Free Budget Series