Implement a Budget to Help in Spending Your Money
Do you struggle with deciding how to spend your money? Most of us have a fixed amount of money to live on that we need to cover all our expenses. Regardless of how much that fixed amount is, it often does not seem like enough.
Step One: Set a Monthly Budget
The key to ensuring you stay within your financial constraints is to establish a monthly budget. To determine your monthly budget, start by reviewing your monthly spending history. To obtain your spending history, download your recent bank and credit card statements. Then record all your monthly expenses in an Excel spreadsheet. Once you have recorded your expenses, categorize them (i.e. utilities, mortgage, insurance, clothing etc.). By categorizing your expenses you will be better able to look at how you spend your money. It is imperative you do thorough due diligence on your expenses because this will set the framework for your monthly spending budget. Look at the categories you may be overspending on and determine what actions you can take to get your spending in control.
Step Two: Set Constraints
After you have reviewed your expenses and established your monthly budget, you need to decide how to adhere to the budget to reach optimal success. For instance, will setting up automatic bill pay help prevent you from overspending? Will having automatic deposits into a savings account improve your savings efforts? Be honest with yourself about your money weaknesses and try to implement ways to prevent making these money mistakes.
Step Three: Set a Schedule
Once your budget is in place and you have setup the necessary constraints to foster success, the last element to help you decide how to spend your money is to determine a schedule to monitor your budget. Establishing a schedule will help ensure your monthly budget is up to date with the latest expenses. You may decide the first of every month is the appropriate time to pull your monthly expenses and make any necessary changes to your budget.
Do not underestimate the importance of adhering to a budget to ensure you keep your family on track to meet all their financial goals. There is no shame in admitting you may succumb to financial pitfalls, but there is shame in not doing something about it. Having the confidence to get your family out of debt (or keeping them out of debt) is a skill. Our jobs as family CFOs (Chief Financial Officers) can be difficult and stressful, but you should take great pride in knowing how to spend your money successfully.
ABOUT: Kelli Bhattacharjee has over 8 years experience in the investment and financial services industry. Today she is proud to be her family’s CFO (Chief Financial Officer) and offer her expertise and experiences to her readers. She is the creator of this website, which strives to provide valuable money and savings help to other family CFOs.