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Before you begin, gather up all your financial statements. You want to have access to any information about your income and expenses. One of the keys to the budget-making process is to create a monthly average. The more information you can dig up, the better.
How much income can you expect each month? Record this total income as a monthly amount. Write down a list of all the expenses you expect to have during a month. Use your bank statements, receipts, and credit card statements from the last three months to identify all your spending.
Fixed expenses are those mandatory expenses that you pay the same amount for each time. Include items like mortgage or rent payments, and car payments. Start assigning a spending value to each category, beginning with your fixed expenses. Then, estimate how much you'll need to spend per month on variable expenses such as dining out and major purchases.
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If your income is higher than your expenses, you are off to a good start. This extra money means you can put funds towards areas of your budget, If your expenses are more than your income, that means you are overspending and need to make some changes.
If you're in a situation where expenses are higher than income, find areas in your variable expenses you can cut. After you have set up your budget, you must monitor and continue to track your expenses in each category, ideally every week of the month. Recording what you spend throughout the month will keep you from overspending and help you identify unnecessary expenses or problematic spending patterns.
Bentley concluded, "Once you have set up a basic budget, customize it according to your financial situation and goals. Below are several tips and things to consider:
- Pay with a credit card only if you will have the money to pay it off at the end of the month.
- Adjust your budget monthly if you find you overestimated or underestimated your expenses.
- Once your expenses are lower than your income, budget towards savings goals before you increase your spending.
- Take time to learn other financial skills to improve your financial literacy and make your money work harder for you.
- If you need more details, you can leave a request at the Knobull Contact page."
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