How to Create a Budget in Three Easy Steps
This is a sponsored post on behalf of EveryDollar, but all budget tips and ideas are my own
Living a quirky, inspired life is about getting through all the “have to’s” as quickly and efficiently as you can so you have time left to do the things in life that really excite you! Yep, learning how to create a budget is definitely on the “have to’s” list.
It’s really important to budget your money so you have enough moola ,not only to pay the bills, but to make sure you have extra cash left over to support your fun stuff too!
Sure, living on a budget may seem like a drag, but the fact is most of us live paycheck to paycheck. Maybe you pay your bills in the “rob Peter to pay Paul” form of bill payment (trust me, I’ve been there). Budget your money, and take a hard honest look at where your money goes, and you are sure to have your personal finances together in no time.
When I first started working as a kid, I felt all big and grown up when I got my first checking account. We had a short lesson on budgeting in 7th grade, but my parents and I never really talked about how to handle money. That quickly led to quite a few financial disasters.
You would think that someone with the brains I have would just “get it”, and be great at handling money, but quite honestly I really struggled. Impulse control was a big problem for me, plus I lived in the era when all sorts of credit card companies used to stalk unsuspecting students on college campuses. It wasn’t until I was thousands of dollars in debt, at the tender age of 19, that I realized I had no clue what I was doing when it came to money.
You would think that would’ve gotten me on the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, it didn’t. It wouldn’t be for another few decades and many, many years of robbing Peter to pay Paul that I finally turned my finances around.
Now I’ve been able to pay down over $10,000 in debt, put $10,000 in Savings, and buy our first house. What finally made me turn things around? You guessed it, learning how to create a budget.
Before I made a household budget, I thought I had an idea where my money went. Once I actually learned how to create a budget, and kept a budget, it blew my mind the little places money was just leaking out of my bank account. (Those $5 Lattes really start to add up!)
Once I saw how much I was spending on things I could really live without, I was able to put a personal budget together that I could live with! Slowly but surely, putting one foot in front of the other my finances turned around, and I never felt the pinch.
Now it’s your turn! Never made a personal budget before? Have no idea where to start? Well, you are in luck because I have three easy budget tips to help you learn how to create a budget in less than ten minutes flat! (Talk about efficient!)
A little prep before you get started. This will help your budget planning go more smoothly.
- Gather all of your last month’s bills that you can find (don’t fret if you can’t find them)
- Gather all your last month’s pay stubs you can find
- Print out your last month’s bank statement.
Now onto creating your household budget! It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 thanks to EveryDollar ! EveryDollar is this AWESOME free online budget software (it also has apps on iOS and Android!). It let me set up my family budget in less than ten minutes (yep, I’m a geek and totally timed myself)
Here’s how to get started.
- Set up your free EveryDollar account here:
- Add your Income to the Budget Worksheets. It’s super easy to add them. You just click on each line under income to change the name of the income’s name. If you need to add more income, just click the plus sign at the bottom.
- Add all of your Bills and Expenses to Every Dollar EveryDollar has expenses broken down into different categories that it makes each area where you spend easier:
Just like that your budget is DONE! No more cluttered budget worksheets, no more wondering if you are on budget. As you spend throughout the month, just update your budget worksheets to see if you are staying on track.
If you want to see your budget in live time, you can always opt into the paid version of EveryDollar. It’s only $8.95/mo (billed annually at $99) That allows you to link up all your credit card and banking accounts, so as you spend it will automatically update your budget for you!
Now that you know how to create a budget, you will have money to do fun things like learn how to knit or trying all these adult drinks made with wine because both of those are WAY more fun than worrying about money!