How to Create and Maintain a Budget

Save

Staying financially fit during an economic downturn is vital--especially for recent college graduates or anyone else just entering the work world. Here are some tips to create and maintain a budget.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Excel
  • Paper
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Devise a budget. While following a budget after school sounds like more work, it's vital to ensure that you stay on track of finances after college. With loans to pay and probably not much income coming in, a budget gives you a good idea of where you stand. Even if you scratch down your monthly bills and expenditures on a piece of paper, you'll still see where you need to put your money and where you can cut back spending. Many recent college graduates are intimidated by making a budget-the truth is that you don't have to keep track of everything using the latest financial software-something simple will do.

  • Review your budget regularly. The budget won't work unless you repeatedly review it. For example, if you're not making your minimum credit card payment month after month, there's a problem, so you'll need to see where you can take money from to make the payment. Looking at the budget helps you remember where funds need to be allocated so you don't wind up doing something like getting extra money one month and blowing it all on something frivolous because you think you have "extra" spending cash. Even if you're a savvy spender, knowing what your expenses are will help you be more aware of your financial status.

  • Adjust your budget as necessary. The great thing about a budget is that it can be amended. For example, if you're just out of school, you may not be paying off student loans for the first six months-but when that payment is added to your expenditures, it can hurt! So you'll need to constantly reevaluate where money is coming and going. Think of your budget as a living document-you have the power to revise it at any time and doing so can keep you on top of finances. You're in control of your financial future when you take time to become aware of it.

  • Integrate your budget into your long-term goals. There will come a time when you're not just getting by and you'll want to think about what you want out of things on a long-term basis. If you're planning on getting a promotion next year, don't spend that money as if you already have it; instead, plan to use the extra money when you get it to pay off something like credit card debt, which usually has a higher interest rate than school loans and isn't tax-deductible. Are you getting married soon or getting your own apartment? Once you get on your feet, you can plan on starting a separate fund and putting money towards things you want.

Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • How to Develop a Project Budget

    Regardless of whether you are organizing a project for work or planning a personal project to undertake in your spare time, chances...

  • How to Make a School Budget

    No matter how you look at it, a school needs money to run properly. They simply cannot function without money to pay...

  • How to Make a Budget for an Organization

    An important step in controlling expenditures and ultimately profit is by creating a budget for an organization. With ever narrowing profit margins,...

  • How to Create a Budget in Excel

    A budget is one of the most important tools needed to build a solid financial foundation. Microsoft's Excel software provides an easy...

  • How to Create a Budget Control Plan Sheet

    Creating a budget control plan is one of the most effective ways to stick to spending goals. Learning where your money goes...

  • How to Start a Budget

    Professional budget advice you can't miss! Learn how to begin to set up a budget for personal finances in this free online...

  • Maintaining a Budget

    Professional budget advice you can't miss! Learn about software options like Quicken to help maintain a budget for personal finances in this...

  • Budgetary Control Techniques

    Creating a budget is one thing -- sticking to it is another. This can prove especially challenging if you have an irregular...

Related Searches

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!