You can do it! Mentally prepare yourself for a budget. A budget generally is a plan for spending to allow for prompt payment of bills while saving money for the future. If you are married, the goal should be to be able to “live” off of one persons income while saving the rest. Single people should focus on saving at least 30-40% of their income through various means as noted below.
Calculate all income coming in for the family. You and your spouse should do this together so both will know the financial status of the family. Although one person may have the primary responsibility to pay the bills, both of you will spend money.
If you are single skip to the next step. For those whom are married, read below.
This is not the time to hide secrets from each other. Money is the root of all evil, seek a counselor if you are not comfortable with sharing money with your spouse.
Often times you will find you are spending more than you earn. Make a list of all bills that must be paid on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis. This can be obtained by reviewing your bank statements, credit card statements, receipts, or copy of written check.
If you tithe to the church you will need to include this in your bills. It is usually calculated on the gross income of money that has been received.
Where is your money going? Track your spending. If there is no current method of spending, immediately stop spending money. Wait until after your budget is complete before you randomly dish out some cash. To find out how you are spending your money, reviewing your bank statements, credit card statements, receipts, or copy of written check.
If you are use to spending cash take a notebook around with you to write down everything you are spending. Use the internet for tracking or your telephone memo area.
Try to get out of debt before being laid off. Now that you have determined your income, monthly bills, spending habits. It’s time to create the ultimate budget. The following will give you some percentages of where you should be for budgeting of money.
Tithes – 10%
House or Rent – 25%
Car – 10%
Utilities – 10%
Entertainment – 10%
Savings – 10%
Debt Reduction – 10%
You can modify the areas above if needed. For example if you do not have any credit card debt then you can move the 10% to another area.