3 Simple Steps to Build a Budget

Preparing a budget for yourself isn’t a difficult thing to do. To build a budget for yourself you just need to do 3 simple things.

First, Determine Your Income

Take out a piece of paper and list out all of your income sources in the upper left corner. Write out how much you make from each source every month, and then add them up into one total value to expect at the end of every month.

Second, Determine Your Expenses

Using the receipts and financial statements you receive from your bank, gas stations, stores, and other services you pay for, begin making a list of your normal expenses in the middle of the page. Start from the bills you have to pay every month and move down the list until you’ve recorded your purchase of a diet coke from 7-11. Include everything you spend your money on and write how much you spent on that thing for the previous month. You need to know how much you have been spending and what you’ve been spending it on. Total your expenses into on number and compare it to your total income in the upper left corner. Does it exceed your monthly income?

Third, Determine Needs

Look through that list of expenses and circle the things that are needs—i.e. rent payments, phone and utility bills, food, etc. Determine how much you have to spend to survive. If you still have money left over, allot that money for other things—like fancier food, eating out, hobbies, etc.—according to how much you can afford to spend on each of these things each month. Also, understand that if you’re living paycheck to paycheck right now it will take awhile to get your budget perfected, if unexpected expenses come up you may need to use some of Check City’s services such as cash advances or online payday loans to get you through a rough patch.

Don’t be afraid to put some money aside to pursue hobbies. These will keep you sane and happy through any challenges coming your way. If you keep to your budget, you won’t feel a financial strain from it either.

Preparing a budget isn’t hard. It’s a simple three step process that can take up-to a few hours on a Saturday of serious contemplation. Living the budget is the difficult part. It takes courage and practiced self-control. It doesn’t come right away, but it does come with practice. You can improve your financial situation by practicing it today.

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