Here is what it will look like:Week 1) What are you spending right now?
Week 2) Goal Setting
Week 3) Tracking your progress
Week 4) Compare and Adjust
Lets do this!
What are you spending right now?
Before you can really make a budget, you really need to understand how you have already been spending your money. I like to divide up my expenditures in the following categories (and sub-categories).
Necessary Expenditures: car payment, insurance, rent, tithe, school loan payments
Semi-Necessary Expenditures: utilities, groceries, gas, paying off credit cards (if you have any), phone bill, cable, internet, repairs
Extra Stuff: gym membership, personal maintenance (mani/pedi, shampoo etc.), eating out, presents for others, shopping trips, extra giving and anything else you can think of.
Note: I assigned the expenditures to the categories in a way that reflects me own life, feel free to adjust as you like.
Your assignment: Add up your totals for your expenditures AND categories for the past month- if your feeling particularly nerdy go for the past three months. Then reflect on your spending, how do you feel about it? Does it seem high in some areas and low in others?