When hearing the word budgeting it doesn't have to make you cringe. Budgeting can be stress free and give you peace of mind if you're consistent with it. Understand the goal for your budget, which is to help us control what we are spending and focus our spending's on what matter most. There are many ways to budget and you want to find the way that works best for you. There are also plenty of free apps you can try Every Dollar, is a great app to use or try the old school way if you prefer (grab a planner and write everything down). Below are 5 effective ways to help you budget and stay less stressed.
Be Realistic - Start by calculating how much income you will be bringing in every month. Shorting your income will give you a little wiggle room (in case you have to take a day off or something). Next, add all of your expenses for the month. You can sum this number up a little higher so you might have a little extra spending money. Include everything you usually spend money on. Now will be a good time to pull those bank statements out.
Find The Difference Between Needs and Wants- NEEDS COME FIRST! Rent, Car Payments, Electric Bill, etc. Wants can be eating out, grabbing a coffee on the way to work, clothes, etc.
Spend Cash- Try spending more cash. Especially on wants as this will make you more cautious of what you're spending on. Those $4 here and $5 there start adding up and when you see it subtract you'll want to spend less.
Categories- Give yourself 2 categories you want to cut back spending on. Most people overspend in just a few categories. Common overspent areas include; eating out, shopping, entertainment, etc.
- Savings- Plan to add to savings monthly. Unfortunately we can never predict when we will have an emergency. It's always best to have a savings to fall back on. Make a goal on what you want to save for, some months are unpredictable. Holidays, birthdays, back to school supplies, routine car maintenance whatever it may be don't let these expenses creep up on you and leave you strapped for the month.
If you don't have enough money to budget everything every month just prioritize and do your best. After all it is a start and something is better than nothing.