How to Set a Budget in Four Easy Steps

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Budgeting is one of those things that we all should be doing, but most of us don’t. It even seems like setting a budget and sticking to it comes naturally to some while the rest of us struggle.

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But budgeting shouldn’t have to be too complicated, and with a few easy tricks, you could get started on your budget in no time. And who knows, maybe soon you’ll reap the benefits of a good budget by properly investing your overhead.

1. Track Your Spending

One of the main reasons people fail with their budgets is because they don’t know how much they’re spending. That’s why it’s so important to track all your expenditure, and you need to do it carefully.

Without an accurate idea of what you’re spending, you won’t be able to set a budget, it’s as easy as that.

Also, this is the dull part of budgeting, and we promise it will be more exciting as you move along. There are also a ton of apps and gadgets that you can use to track your spending.

2. Automate Your Necessary Spending

The best part of setting a budget these days compared to only 20 years ago is how easy it is to automate a lot of your spending, and automated spending is one of the easiest ways to stick to a budget.

That’s why we recommend that you put all of your necessary and regular expenditures on automatic pay. This includes rent, bills, insurance, and even setting aside money for savings and investments. Naturally, this has to be done without the risk of you overdrafting your accounts so ensure that you have the funds to cover yourself.

Also, it’s recommended that you match all of your automatic payments with your paychecks. This way you’ll know exactly what’s left for you each month. At the same time, the risking of missing an important payment and being hit with late fees are greatly reduced.

3. Set an Honest and Actual Goal for Your Future

Obviously, there is little point to a budget unless you have a goal. Why is it you feel like you need to budget? And what are you planning to use the money for?

For most people, budgeting allows them to have more money to invest and save for later in life, and that is perfectly fine. It’s a reasonable thing to do. That being said, with the goal of making budgeting easier and more exciting, you should try to be more specific.

Where are you going to invest the money and with who? Are you looking to only invest, or would you want to set apart some funds that you can trade with using an online broker?

And if you’re not planning to invest the money, what is it you’re spending it on and when?

The goal is, as mentioned, to set a goal and to try to be specific.

4. Be Adaptable and Prepare for the Worst

Lastly, even though a budget is supposed to be strict and you’re supposed to do whatever you can to stick with it, there will be times when you can’t.

Surprises happen to all of us, and unexpected expenses are a part of life. Therefore you need to be adaptable and flexible so that you can deal with whatever situation you might face. Some would argue that an important part of budgeting and saving money is to have emergency funds for when they’re needed.

Our point is that you can’t always stick to a budget, and if you have to pay for something unexpected, you shouldn't feel bad about it.