Budget Your Finances
Creating a budget is an essential first step in taking control of your finances. A budget is a plan that outlines what money you expect to earn or receive (your income) and how you will save it or spend it (your expenses) for a given period of time. Budgets are also called spending plans.
This may seem stressful or difficult, it does not have to be!
Try tracking your spending for just a month to start. Housing, transportation, groceries, and insurance are necessities to be prioritized, but are there other areas where you are spending too much? A budget can help get your finances on track for good.
In the long run, a budget—even a simple one—can help you save money each month, build up a down payment to purchase a house, buy a car, pay for college, grow a retirement savings, and have financial security throughout your lifetime.
- Budgeting Basics
- Easy Budget Worksheet
- How to Save on a Tight Budget
- Tips for Financial Success
- Financial Tips for Women
Debt: Money you owe another person or a business.
Expenses: What you spend your money on, including bills, food, clothing, housing, and transportation.
Fixed expenses: Expenses, like bills, that must be paid each month and generally cost around the same amount (such as rent, utilities, car payment, car insurance, etc.).
Income: Money you earn or receive. This can include wages or salaries, tips, commissions, contracted pay, government transfer payments, dividends on investments, tax refunds, gifts, and inheritances.