Why is budgeting important? What is involved in budgeting anyway? Once you know the answers to these questions, you will be able to save more money, get out of debt, and achieve financial flexibility.
A budget is one of the most valuable tools which is required to keep track of your expenses. Planning your budget teaches you to be prudent while spending money and equips you with proper money management skills, which many people lack.
Personal budgeting helps in making a planned investment for the future for greater financial security and stability. Besides, using a budget plan can help you to figure out your monthly income and expenses and accumulate savings for fulfilling your personal and family needs in the long term.
Many people fail to realize the vast benefits which they can derive from developing a personal budget. Planning a realistic monthly budget can help you to achieve your dreams, whether it is going on a vacation trip, renovating a home, or buying a vehicle.
You will learn to attach more considerable significance to money when you know its value, and you will learn to spend it more wisely when you have a budget. Besides, people who make their budget can understand where their money is being spent and learn ways to curb excessive spending. A reasonable budget can help you to repay your debt obligations quickly and save more money for the future to realize both your short and long-term financial goals.
Budgeting can also help you assess your money in-flows and out-flows. So, if the money you are spending is more than the money that you are earning, you can consider ways of earning more money or making some decisions that will help you to cut down on your expenditures.
Steps to prepare your budget plan
1. To create a budget, the best way is to use a spreadsheet program if you are familiar with using computer applications. There is plenty of budget software which is available on the internet which can use for working out a budget plan. However, if you are not very comfortable using computer-based applications, then you can use a pen and paper to make your budget.
2. Create two columns comprising of income and expenditure and first list all your fixed expenses, which may include your loan repayments and other debt obligations. You can make different categories under variable expenses like grocery and food items, shopping, entertainment, dining, etc. and add both the fixed and variable expenses together. In the same way, calculate your total income from all the sources after deducting the tax and other costs from the gross income to get the net profit.
3. The next step will be to subtract all your monthly expenses from the monthly rent to find out the result. If you get a surplus, then you can use this money to build your savings for the future to meet any emergency expenses. On the other hand, if you get a deficit, then you need to plan your expenses well to curb extra spending; otherwise, you could land up in a debt situation very soon.
4. Almost 20-25% of the costs can be easily reduced if you can manage to cut down on your entertainment and credit card bills, which can significantly add to your savings. Paying off your debts can help in eliminating your debt burden and accumulate more savings for the future. You can compare your budget every month to see if there has been any improvement in your spending pattern over the last month in this manner.