“You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.” ~ Dave Ramsey
Creating a financial budget is not difficult. It may take some work and dedication, but if you keep up with it, then you’re all set.
In my recent post, I mentioned why a budget is needed for EVERY occasion. It really is. Whether you want to travel, pay your bills, save money for big buys, or even just buying a car, a budget is essential to make your dreams or goals to come into reality.
In this post, I will provide you with some steps I take to create my financial budget. Doing this on a bi-weekly basis has helped me to create and consistently manage my budget for the things I NEED but also create a financial budget for myself when there’s a WANT to buy.
Before I begin, here are some supplies I use to create this financial budget of mine: Pen or Pencil, Journal, Organizational Folder, Calculator, and Mint.com.
Here the steps that are going to be discussed:
- Write Down My Income
- Record My Bills (Due Dates & The Amount)
- Write The Every Day Buys
- Place Cash In Envelope
- Using Mint.com for Bill Reminders
- Sticking To It
1. Writing Down My Income
The most important thing I do is write down my income. To do that, I look at my bank account and look at my last paycheck.
Now if there is inconsistency in my income, which I have experienced quite lately, then I write down the last 2-3 paychecks. This will ensure me to know how much I will be making in my next paycheck.
2. Record My Bills (Due Dates & The Amount)
So after writing down my income, I am going to write down the bills that need to be paid for the current month or the bills that are coming soon within the month.
Plus, I am going to write down the amount for each bill. For me, I like to round each of my bills because if I need to go to the bank and take out cash, I know the amount I need to take out.
I write my bills, the dates, and their amount on a small notebook. So when I need to look at back at my the dates or amount I need to pay, I know what I need to do.
3. Writing Down The Everyday Buys
My everyday buys are gas and groceries. So I also place it into my bills, because they’re IMPORTANT.
Since I know the amount of gas my car can take in, I write down the amount and use that amount weekly. I don’t go out very much so I’m pretty good at saving money on gas.
My groceries varies so one thing I do is write down everything I specifically need, rather than want. So my needs are like water ( I don’t drink milk), fruits (banana, grapes, and oranges), and other things that I gather to be important.
Making a list prior to grocery shopping is great so you don’t have to forget what you need to buy but also not adding things you don’t need.
I sometimes make a grocery list on what I want to cook for the week which also saves me money. If I have enough money to spend on groceries than I would buy some items in bulk. That saves me money in the long run.
One thing that I do when I go grocery shopping is saving my receipts. This way I can know what items cost what, and when I go grocery shopping again, it’s easier to go in and out of the store. Since receipt ink does fade over time, I use a journal to document the products I buy.
4. Place Cash In Envelope
After writing down all my important bills and buys, I add them up using a calculator. After adding them up, I round them up since I want a clear amount of what I need to pay each month.
All my bills, in which I pay online, will be kept in my bank account.
If I have some money remaining after paying all my bills and must-buys, I either use some of that money to spend or keep it in my bank account until I wait for my next paycheck.
The only reason I would head to the bank is to retrieve cash that I need to use for my groceries, my gas, and saving money for something important.
After heading to the bank, I take out the amount of cash I need for the week and place it in my small organization folder. This item has helped me a lot.
5. Use Mint.com for Bill Reminders
I found out about Mint through another blogger a long time ago ( I forgot their name). But this site currently helps me see all my bills in one place, reminding me to pay all my bills on time. This happens when I link my accounts to Mint.
If I don’t have my journal with me, then I use Mint.com to look over my bills.
Mint.com is not just a bill reminder but it has other features. Such features include a credit report, advice on how you can make more or save money based on the bills that you’re currently paying, a goal section, and a budget creator.
6. Sticking To It
The last thing I do is stick to this routine. Pretty simple. It’s all about dedication and self-discipline.
As mentioned, I go back and make adjustments to my budget whenever my income comes into my bank account.
Extra: Other than having a budget, I use these tools to help me add a little income:
Ibotta – With this app, I can retrieve points from the everyday product I use. The rewards come in cash through PayPal, Venmo, and a variety of gift cards you can choose from.
NCP Panel – This is a scanning app. I just go to the store, scan all the products I’m going to buy, type in the price of the product (stores varies), and the total amount I paid for the product I bought.
The rewards come in the form of Amazon gift cards, iTunes, and overstock gift card. The payout is getting 25000 points, which is $25. You can also take surveys to add up your points quickly.
Receipt Hog – This is by far my favorite. All I have to do is scan my receipts and I’m done. The rewards come in the form of cash through PayPal, Amazon, and Visa gift card.
Shopkick – This is pretty similar to Ibotta but slightly different. With this app, I can just ‘walk-in’ the store they refer me to and earn points. I can also receive points when I scan products in the same store if it is in the app.
In addition, when I link my account to the app, I can also receive points when I buy a product they recommend or that I buy on the regular.
There you go!
I showed you the way I create a financial budget using my the supplies I mentioned above. To begin budgeting, you always start with knowing your income. After you determine your income, you write down the bills, things that you need to pay on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis.
Do you have a budget? How do you manage your money? Let’s chat!
Until Next Time,