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#ActYourWage Series - Budgeting Basics

This is hands down my favorite topic. One of the main reasons I started Cents Savvy LLC is because I've had so many people ask me about helping them create a budget because as we all know, a budget is the foundation of personal finance management. I LOVE managing my family's budget. I also love numbers (It's the C.P.A. in me!). You can not understand your next move financially without knowing where you currently stand. So let's get to it.

What is it?

A budget is a plan for your income and expenses that you can use as a guide for spending and saving.

Why do I have to budget?

I know, I know. The word budget in and of itself sounds so restricting, so mean, and like nails dragging down a chalkboard. "I want to live and spend how I want." "I work hard, I deserve to have whatever I want." While I totally agree with these statements, we have to be honest with ourselves and understand that "some restrictions may apply." Although many people already use a budget (great job!) to plan their spending, the majority of people also routinely spend more than they can afford. This can lead to inappropriate use of credit cards to make up for the lack of funds in your bank account. The key to spending within your means is to know your expenses and to spend less than you make. A good monthly budget can help ensure you pay your bills on time, have funds to cover unexpected emergencies, and reach your financial goals.

Ok Tiff, how do I create this budget?

I thought you'd never ask. Now I'm a little bit on the extreme end of budgeting, because I actually enjoy budgeting. I use Microsoft Excel and we have a very crazy & complex "Family Financial Plan" the hubby hates the word "budget." But to get started on your