by Rebecca Weber –
Creating a budget is the first good step you can make to take control of your life and finances. A budget will enable you to develop a strategy that can address both your short term needs and long term goals.
So why do so many of us take little control of our finances? For starters, many of us are afraid. Perhaps we don’t want to see on paper, how we’ll be short making this month’s payments while also saving for the next trip to visit our grandchildren. But by looking closely at your expenses, you will have the opportunity to make adjustments to your spending so that you can contribute more to savings and pay for life’s unexpected expenses.
Creating your budget is the same as knowing your monthly spending habits and needs. This is accomplished by tracking how much money you earn – and how much money you spend. For at least one month, watch closely how you spend your money and keep all receipts. This will help you come up with an amount to budget for your variable expenses – such as dining out, dry cleaning, or money to your children.
Following is a worksheet to help guide you in creating your monthly budget.