All of your efforts seem to be useless.
You might think it’s the cost of living or you need a higher paying job but don’t get completely bummed out.
Focusing on the wrong issues may be to BLAME.
If you are looking to get your financial house in order, setting up and maintaining a budget is VITAL.
You get a clearer picture of what is coming in and going out so you can stay on track with what you want to accomplish.
If making a budget for the first time overwhelms you or if just sticking to one is agonizing, keep this quote by John C. Maxwell in mind:
“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”
It puts you on the offensive when it comes to your money. It’s a way of saying to your money “Here’s what I want you to do” versus “What happened?”.
If you planned a road trip with a set destination, would you just get in the car and start driving without knowing what direction you were going? I doubt it. I’m sure you would take the time to look at some sort of map.
Your GPS or mobile device would tell you where to go and it would direct you to your end destination. Maybe you are missing your financial road map (a.k.a. budget). If you choose not to make and follow one, you’ll probably miss reaching your financial destination.
Here are suggestions of how a regular person can teach themselves to budget using a sample budget.
“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” – Confucious
The more you educate yourself about how to budget, the more you realize how much you didn’t know. When I first started budgeting, I didn’t know what to do. I did what many people do, I googled it. I wanted to look at a sample budget and get an idea of what I should do to know what I was spending to meet my financial goals.
At the time, I happened to find a free online calculator that allowed me to plug in my income and click on a button to have it magically do the numbers for me. I didn’t have a clue about how much I should be spending on my mortgage, gas, groceries, etc. Even if I thought I wanted to spend a little more or less than it suggested, I found it to be a good starting point and gave me an outline for where to begin. It’s like being at the mall and figuring out where you are in order to get where you need to go.
It gave me vital information about what my percentages should look like and how they translated into dollar amounts. It quickly helped point me in the right direction. I didn’t have to agonize by backtracking for any receipts or statements. I could just “start all over” and follow what it “told me” to do. I did have to make some mathematical adjustments among the categories in order to be exact. This worked for me.
I Heart Calculators!
Now that I have more experience, I can readily find resources for figuring out numbers for financial goals. I installed one below from an experienced entrepreneur and author, Todd Tresidder, so you can get a quick estimate of your budget. I am not a financial expert but I am resourceful when it comes to finding what I need to do some quick calculations. I no longer scour the internet in hopes that googles algorithm gives me the right site any more. I have a free online calculator here to share with all of my enthusiastic readers.
If you are looking to craft a sample budget, you can quickly and easily plug in what you currently pay for all of your expenses in the calculator below. Take a look at your checking account, your bank’s online bill pay, or an online tool to get the information (wherever you can quickly access all of your expenses). This also helps if you’ve had several expenses change all at one time. We added another cell phone to our plan for our daughter and some utility bills went up, so we had to adjust and reconfigure the numbers a bit. If you are looking to get a general idea of what you should be spending, take a look at this budget estimator. The calculator made it easy.
You are the only one who can see the numbers on this calculator. I cannot. They are 100% private. Many other calculators on the net are used to collect information for lead generation. These don’t do that.
There are also calculators to estimate how much you need to save for retirement. It’s a great way to get an idea for what you will need but it’s also best to seek out a certified financial planner, so they can customize what is right for you.
If you enjoyed this free information, share the wealth with your friends. : D