How To Budget Your Money Ann House, MS, CFCS
Why should I budget my money? Budgeting your money will help you make smart money choices: • Make your money go where you want it to go • Pay off debt • Resist the urge to overspend • Make your money work for you
Budget Wisely Being smart about money can help you: • Start saving • Finance a higher education • Buy a house • Build a retirement fund • Improve the quality of your life
Steps for Making a Budget • Total monthly income • Track expenses • Compare income to expenses • Evaluate and adjust
Total Your Monthly Earnings List your salary or self-employment wages as well as any other income you receive, such as: • Bonus pay • Dividends and interest • Commissions • Alimony and/or child support • Public assistance • Pension or retirement income
Fixed Expenses A fixed expense is a cost or obligation that occurs regularly and doesn’t vary in amount.
List Fixed Expenses It’s important to know where your money is going. Make a list of all your fixed expenses: • Rent/mortgage • Car payment • Insurance • Groceries • Utilities
Variable Expenses A variable expense is a cost or obligation that occurs regularly, but may vary in amount.
Car repair Dentist Lawn care Holidays Lessons Magazines Recreation Travel Travel Sports Vacation Pets Insurance Hobbies Birthdays Contributions Examples of Variable Expenses
List Variable Expenses Write down all variable expenses for one month, even small ones. • This is important – it will help you understand your spending habits • Write down every purchase, even cash purchases • You may be surprised at how much you spend in each category
Discretionary Expenses Discretionary expenses are your indulgences – things you splurge on but that you can live without.
List Discretionary Expenses Look at bank/credit card statements and estimate expenses for cash purchases or keep a daily log to track these expenses. Examples: • Restaurants • Massage • Manicure • Concert tickets
Compare Expenses to Income Which is higher, your income or expenses? • If you’re spending more than you’re bringing home each month, you have a deficit. • If you’re spending less than you’re bringing home each month, you have a surplus.
If You Have a Deficit If your income is less than your outgo, begin cutting back on nonessentials: • Spend less on variable expenses. • Use cash instead of credit cards. • Be realistic—take control of your spending now.
Use the Step-Down Method Instead of drastically cutting things out of your lifestyle, try the Step-Down method. • If your family has a tradition of going to a movie and dinner every week, try renting a movie and eating popcorn.
The Step-Down Method • If a haircut at a salon normally costs $15, get a $5 haircut at a beauty college instead. • If you enjoy winter sports, try snowshoeing instead of skiing. • Offer your services in place of a gift, like babysitting for your sister for a night out.
Tips for Saving $$$ from America Saves • Save $.50 a day in loose change $15 • Bring lunch to work ($5/day) $100 • Cut soda pop consumption (60¢ day) $18 • Eat out 4 fewer times a month $60 • Eliminate premium cable channels $20 • Buy grocery store brands $10 • Avoid credit card late fee $25
If You Have a Surplus Saving is the key to a successful financial future. Direct your savings toward your primary objectives: • Emergency funds • Child’s education • Home ownership • Retirement
Credits: • Trish Cutler • F. Dean Miner, Jr.