Budget Maker | Bankruptcyhq
It doesn’t have to be tough to get your finances in order. Make a Budget That Is More Appropriate for Your Needs
Patience, self-discipline, and meticulous preparation go a long way when it comes to budgeting. You will feel safer if you budget appropriately. Remember that a budget is more than simply a tool for staying on track with your spending. It’s also a tool to assist you in achieving your life’s goals.
Putting Together Your Financial Plan
A budget may be made in four simple stages.
- Calculate how much money you will get each month. Don’t budget for military housing or food allowances if you’re on active duty since you can lose them if you’re deployed.
- Keep a running tally of how much money you spend each month.
- Separate your expenses into two groups: fixed and variable. Rent, vehicle payments, and internet fees are fixed costs that do not change month to month. Groceries, eating out, and clothes are examples of variable expenditures that alter from month to month.
- To show how you’ll spend your money this month, add your revenue and spending columns. Consider utilizing a simple computer application like Excel or a professional one like Quicken to help the process go more smoothly.
Keeping an Eye on Your Budget
It’s time to put your budget into action now that you’ve created one. Keep note of your costs for the first several months and compare them to your budget.
Remember that this is your strategy, so think about what you want. The following questions may assist you in fine-tuning your budget into a spending plan that aligns with your objectives:
- Does your budget reflect your current financial situation correctly or do you need to make adjustments?
- Are you keeping on track with your budget? What has to be changed if not? If that’s the case, what was easy?
- Are there any places where you might save money?
- Do you have any ideas about how to make your budget work for you?
- What are your financial goals in the near term? What are your financial goals for the long term?
- Is your budget in place to help you achieve your goals?
To begin answering some of these questions, make a list of your short- and long-term objectives. Short-term objectives are those you wish to achieve in a year or less, such as minor house repairs, furniture, or a home theater purchase. Longer-term goals, like purchasing a new vehicle, taking a trip, or saving for a down payment on a home, may take years to achieve.
It’s important to discern between genuine necessities and desires. The items you need to live, such as food, shelter, and clothes, are needs. Things like a new TV, DVD player, or fashion goods that you can live without are examples of wants. When people spend too much money on goods they don’t need, they find themselves in debt. Limit your purchases to just what you need and can afford.
Make a priority list based on the importance of each item to you and how fast you can obtain it. Keep track of your expenditures. Separate fixed and variable spending (like housing, taxes, loans, and insurance) (like food, clothing, and entertainment).
Changing Your Financial Plan
A budget that is effective today may not be adequate in five years. If you notice any of the following life changes, it may be time to reassess your budget; don’t be afraid to make adjustments as needed:
- Changing your marital status
- Having a child
- Buying (or preparing to buy) a significant item, such as a new car or home
- Relocating to a more (or less) costly location
Resources that could be useful to you
Navy Federal is dedicated to giving you the most up-to-date information so you can make informed financial choices.
Check out our tips and tools below, and don’t forget to take advantage of Navy Federal’s free private personal financial counseling.