Creating a Budget You Can Count On: Part 1

You can live off of any budget. It doesn’t matter what level of income you are raking in, you can find a way to make it happen. You just have to live within your means.

Calculate your baseline
Your means equal the amount of money that you make on average every month and use that as a baseline. If your job hours vary and you can never be sure how much you’ll make in thirty days, look through your past pay checks and figure out a minimum that you can reliably expect to receive. You can use this number as your baseline.

Make a promise
Once you’ve figured out your baseline, make a promise to yourself. Promise not to spend more than your baseline every month. Swear it. Write it down and tell a friend. Do whatever it takes to make sure you make a commitment and seriously intend to keep it. If you don’t, you’ll find excuses to buy things outside the budget.

Identify your needs
When you are satisfied that your promise is trustworthy, figure out your necessary expenses. Your necessary expenses include things like housing, food and fuel. Above all else, you need these things to survive. You cannot survive with sustenance and a place to live however. Figure out how much that costs every month and subtract it from the baseline. If you find this costing you more money than you make in a month, then you need to find a way to reduce your spending immediately. Seek out the cheapest sales on food or consider finding a cheaper place to live. It may be a hassle, but it’ll be worth it in the end. If you don’t and try to continue living outside your means, then you’ll dig yourself into a hole.

These are just a few ideas. Think over these for the time being and look for tomorrow’s post to find out more.

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