“The plans of
the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty” - Proverbs
To direct your spending and financial future a budget is a critical component. It takes the initiative to start, the hardest step. Once you start, a key to growing in personal budgeting is understanding that it won't be perfect, it gives you a guideline. Unplanned events enter into the picture, it's inevitable. A key is knowing where funds are flowing enabling you to adjust with shifting spending and growing an emergency fund for the unplanned necessities. A monthly budget will show you how much money expect to bring in against all of your expenditures from required expenses (i.e. Housing, Food, Utilities, Transportation).
To start a monthly budget, the following are five steps:
Health care is a major costs and can be unpredictable when it will be needed. It is a good idea to become familiar with your health care plans and options. This is a step in understanding and planning your monthly budget. The following are five steps to reviewing and becoming familiar with your health care.
An emergency fund is the money you save for those unforeseen expenses - a.k.a. life happens. Your budget is made up of monthly expenses like Giving, Saving, Housing, Transportation, Food, Personal, Lifestyle, Health and Insurance. Your emergency fund is for the events that you did not anticipate in your budget. When expenses hit outside your budget (i.e. Car Repair, Home Repair), you have the money that can easily be accessed to pay for the unexpected.
The emergency fund needs to be available and not invested (a money market is a good spot for an emergency fund). You don't want to utilize debt and credit cards to get through unexpected car repairs or job changes.