Budgets aren’t just done for nothing. It is the core foundation of a solid personal finance. A person who knows how to budget and commit to it will most likely be on the right track to financial freedom. Now what makes a budget successful? What elements should be involved or more so what shouldn’t be involved? In today’s post we will be focusing on the anatomy of a successful budget.
A Successful Budget Follows the Right Spending Categories
Budget categories such as food, transportation allowance, bills and so on are key elements that make a budget more effective. You should be able to name all the categories that applies to your monthly expenses. It’s either you create your own list or download free budget templates you can find online.
It is way better to narrow down your budget categories so you can have a clearer picture on where your money goes.
Make sure that you know exactly how much income you are getting because this is the very money you’ll use to budget. Thus, studying your payslip can help for you to be able to track down how much you earned.
Accuracy is way harder if you have multiple sources of income so make sure that you allot even a tiny notebook to log. See My New Budget and Spending Tracker for a simple cash envelop with built in notebook available in Landmark. I highly recommend this.
A Successful Budget also has Savings Fund
Remember the golden formula of financial success… Income – Savings = Expenses. Before you budget your money to your expenses make sure that you have set aside an amount for your savings. I love doing this automatically with my Metrobank Direct. I suggest applying with the online counterpart of your local bank so you can easily monitor how much money goes to your payroll ATM.
A Successful Budget Has a Spending Tracker
It’s not enough that you allocate your money to different categories. If you want your budget to be a success then you ought to follow where your money goes. And by following I mean tracking day after day the items you bought and how much.
Once you know where your money is going it will be easier for you to make quick and smart decisions where to best budget. Budgeting doesn’t mean you’ll deprive yourself with the fun, the movie dates or even the dinner dates. Once you commit to a budget you simply are making priorities on how you use your hard-earned cash. READ: DIY Spending Tracker Notebook
A Successful Budget Follows Your Financial Goals
I may have written this a hundred times but I am a firm believer that goals make everything possible. There’s got to be a vision involved if you want to be successful in your budgeting. How do we do this?
Your goal is to buy a car by 2017. With this in mind and in paper (please…write down your goals instead of storing them on your mind) you’ll most likely generate steps to make this goal happen.
Make sure that you have written realistic goals and those that can be done with your current income.
Goals could also motivate you to save more. Since your financial goals will most likely involve bigger purchase and even those that can change your life completely (like a wedding fund or house and lot) , then it will be easier for you to limit your spending.
I know it sounds cheesy but you can never become successful in budgeting if you don’t see the job within it. It should never feel like a burden or a chore but rather part of your daily routine. Create a monthly budget and then a budget of the week and a daily budget. The monthly budget can be digital almost like a template you can visit anytime. The weekly budget and daily budget can be part of your spending tracker notebook. Again the online community offers a lot of free templates you can use for your budget.
A Successful Budget is Reviewed Often
A review is as important as creating a budget. This is actually best done on a weekly basis. In the budget review you must note what items worked for you and what items didn’t. You also mark the products and/or services where you used most of your money. If you have a tracked your spending you can also note the items in your budget that you can limit so you have more on your savings. Be very honest in your review. After your budget review of the week try to create goals for the following week that can motivate you.
How to Create Your First Ever Budget
Creating a budget is way simpler nowadays. There are free online apps you can download and try. Here are four apps I found that work well.
If you are more comfortable with writing your budget then you just have to choose a notebook where you’ll write down things.
Make sure you already know the budget categories where you mostly spend your money with. Write them down by priorities (by deadlines for the bills).
Don’t forget to include your income at the very top of the worksheet. Now you can allocate freely how much money will go for each category. For a more detailed blog post on creating a spending plan clickHERE.
Why Should You Budget?
If you want to be intentional in your money then you need to understand the reason why financial advisers, financial bloggers as well as financial enthusiasts encourage you to learn how to master the art of budgeting.
For me the most important reason why you should budget is to take care of the money you’ve worked hard for. You don’t want to put to waste what you’ve put your time, heart and soul with.
Izza of SavingsPinay promotes financial literacy for the young and young at heart by providing insights and tips on budgeting, saving, investing and online entrepreneurship. Aside from this blog she also writes at www.izzaglino.com, a beauty and lifestyle blog for frugal Pinays and manages, www.izzagevents.com, a wedding and event business since 2011. For inquiries, topic suggestions or future collaborations email her firstname.lastname@example.org