I found myself reading an interesting article on emergency expenses just the other day and I thought to myself, people should know about the power of budgeting! Learning how to budget and how to stick to your budget will allow you to experience a freedom and security like never before. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t make the big bucks and I’m not a penny pincher, but once I read that a $500 emergency expense would put most Americans into debt I was shocked.
My perspective changed when I heard that 80% of budgeting is self-control and the other 20% is head knowledge. As important as it is to master discipline and self-control, today we are going to focus on the 20%. The first thing I do when I do when I sit down to budget for the month is try to think of any expenses that are out of the ordinary, or month specific. For example, in February I will have a line item for Valentine’s Day; however this will not be the case for all the other months of the year.
Once I have a good idea of where my money needs to go for the month, I start with a simple Excel Sheet and work from top to bottom. Below is an example of how I structure the first part of our budget. I also replaced the Sheet1 title to the month to keep myself more organized.
Typically rent will be your biggest expense. However, no matter what you budget is I am confident that there is always a Camden that will fit your needs. Once you have paid rent, there are still a few expenses that can be budget busters, so I have attached a few links at the end of the blog that can help you save on your monthly water and electric bill.
After completing the above section I move on to “other expenses.” The other expenses can include anything from eating out to hobbies. I try to keep these as organized and specific as possible. Below is another example of other expenses I include in this list.
The last few items are the kickers and they are crucial to making your budget successful. Any saving or investing that you want to do should be included below or with other expenses. In my experience I have learned that if I do not write them down as a line item on my budget, they will never happen.
The last and final line item should always equal zero! I know this sounds crazy but let me explain. If you have any additional unassigned money during the month, you will look up and it will be gone, out of sight out of mind.
Finally do not forget to check out these other blogs that can help you save on monthly expenses.