Have you ever met someone who doesn’t live on a budget? Maybe you don’t live on a budget or maybe you don’t know that you live on a budget. If you have a fixed monthly income and you have fixed monthly expenses, then you most likely live on a budget. If you get by (financially) every month and you aren’t racking up hundreds or thousands of dollars in credit card bills, then you are probably living on a budget. So let me ask you…do you live on a budget?
What is a budget?
Having a budget doesn’t necessarily mean that you monitor every single dollar that you earn and every single penny that you spend. Living on a budget means that you allocate a percentage of your income towards certain expenses each month (i.e. housing, transportation and personal savings etc.) Living on a budget also means that you don’t spend any money over that predetermined percentage and that you don’t live off of your credit cards each month. Living on a budget means that all of your money is accounted for; it doesn’t necessarily mean that all of your money is counted.
How can you track your budget?
If all of that money talk is starting to give you a headache, allow me to put your mind at ease. Living on a budget can be very simple if you know how to set and track your budget. The days of monitoring your income and expenses with excel spreadsheets are over, nowadays people can be financially responsible without all of the paperwork. There are several different online websites (such as Mint.com) that can monitor and categorise your spending with the click of a mouse. It is important to categorise your expenses because then you will know where you are spending your money. If you determine your spending patterns, you can then decide where you are overspending and where you can make cuts.