When you are out in the world on your own, it is about time to set a budget. Things aren’t so easy as when you were living at home with parents and could pretty much spend as you wanted. When there is a rent or mortgage to pay for, as well as bills and extras like social expenses, you need to work it all out. It is a good idea to set aside some money each month for savings too. Here are some tips for setting yourself a budget.
First of all, you need to work out exactly what income you have coming in. So take your monthly wage after tax and consider any other earnings. Do you babysit regularly or have another income from selling or a blog? Then you need to figure out a rough figure for how much money goes out each month. You need a figure for housing and the related bills. So think about the cost of your heating, gas, water and home security systems. Then you need to work out a spend for food and any travel. A great way to know this amount, as it can vary, is to keep track of your receipts. It helps you work out where you are at each week. Then you take one of these figures from the other. You are left with the amount that you have for your social life or for things like birthday presents and shopping. There are a lot of budget templates that you can find online to help guide you in what you need to write down.
As I have said, it is a good idea to put some money aside for savings. You don’t want to be hit with an unexpected bill all of a sudden. You also don’t want to be hit with a new insurance bill or something big that you need to pay for. If it is unexpected and it hasn’t been budgeted for, you could end up in trouble. So put some money aside. It is a good idea to then go for a direct debit to make sure the money just leaves your account and goes into savings. If you can’t see it, you won’t get tempted to spend it.
When you are looking at your budget and things look a bit tight, think about ways you can save. Do you get a coffee every morning on your way to work? Could you take one from home and just get a thermos? Spending money on small things that occur often can add up each month. Wouldn’t you prefer if that money was put aside to savings or for big treats like a vacation? You could also look at ways to make a little extra money too. Could you start selling some of your things online? Then be sure to put the money aside for a rainy day.
Do you have a budget set? I need to work on mine, but it is such a good idea to have one in place.