Budgeting helps keep you on track to your larger life goals:
Going to college, getting a career, moving out on your own, buying a car, traveling or even buying a home.
No matter your goals, a budget that tells your money where to go will prevent you from being a victim of your spending. By establishing a budget, you will be on the right path to reaching your goals.
Here are ten steps to help you make better use of your money
1. Write down your 1 year, 3 year, 5 year, and 10 year goals. Revisit them once in a while. If you don't know where to start, here are some good ideas.
2. Determine your net monthly income. This is the amount of money you make in one month, after taxes are removed.
3. Write down all of your bills: rent, electricity, cable/internet, phone, car, gas, groceries, your savings, etc...Add them up (the scary part).
4. Does your paycheck equal what you are spending? Key thing to know: your budget should not be in the negative. Don't spend more than you earn.
5. Pay yourself first. Aim for 10 percent of your net monthly income. As Warren Buffet says...
6. Determine where and how you can cut back. Do you waste a lot of food? Do you eat out often? Can you reduce your electric bill, or the amount of gas you use? Are there ways you can spend less on entertainment? Can you sacrifice a Dunkin' Donuts run, or McDonald's run? How can you do more to cut back?
7. Just do it. A budget will tell your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. For those who have ever spent your whole paycheck on one thing...you know what I'm talking about.
8. Always avoid impulse buys. Wait 30 days, then decide whether you want to buy it.
9. Avoid the temptation to eat out. Think ahead: pack a lunch, bring snacks for long trips, and have leftovers.
10. There are always ways to cut back and make a budget work for you. It may take patience and discipline, but anything is always possible.