It’s hard to know where your money is going if you don’t keep track of your spending. Even if you hold on to your receipts, to understand exactly where your money is going you need to add them up and go through them. This is why having a budget is so important. It will help you track your expenses and give you an overview of your whole financial situation.
9 Monthly Expenses for Your Budget
Setting up a budget is easy by using a spreadsheet or a financial app that allows you to add up your spending and list all your expenses. No matter which tool you decide to use, here are some monthly expenses that should always be included in your budget.
Your savings is the first expense that should be on your budget. If you don’t have a savings account, consider opening one so you can save to help cover the costs of future emergencies. Even if your finances are tight and you can’t afford to save a lot, try to put away as much as you can, even if it’s $20 or less.
Housing should be the next expense you list since it’s probably the biggest and most important one you need to pay. While your main housing costs are rent or mortgage and homeowner’s insurance, if you own a home, add lines for any home maintenance and pest control costs that you need to pay on a monthly or quarterly basis.
If you pay for your water, gas or electricity, these expenses are to be listed under the category of utilities. Landlines and cell phone costs can also be listed here as they are often viewed as utilities, as well.
You need to eat, so your budget should also have a line for your groceries. Budgeting a certain amount to spend on food can keep you from overspending when you go to the store. It may also prevent you from spending too much money on fast food and other convenience purchases.
Plan for your gas, car payment and maintenance costs by adding lines for all of the money you spend on transportation. Your personal lines insurance such as a car or motorcycle insurance should also be added here. If you ride the bus, subway or any other type of public transportation, be sure to also list it here.
If you’re making monthly payments on a credit card or student loan, these also need to be listed on your budget. This will help you track your debt, pay on time and possibly pay it off even faster. You can also include personal loans and medical bills in this category, as well.
To cover the cost of items such as body wash, deodorant and other personal care products, be sure to add this as a line item on your budget. This will ensure that even when you are short on money, you can juggle things around to make sure your personal hygiene is covered.
It costs money to clean your home so budget out enough money to buy any household cleaning items you need. While this number may fluctuate depending on what you need, it’s best to have an idea of how much money to set aside each month to pay for them.
If you’re the parent of a young child, the cost of childcare may be another major category for you. To keep track of this, be sure to add it as a monthly expense to your budget. Also, be sure to adjust this cost when your older children are no longer attending.
Listing each of these expenses on your budget will help you to see exactly where your money is going. It can also help you to make better financial decisions and pay down your debt more quickly.
creating a budget that includes all of your monthly expenses is essential for gaining control over your finances. By tracking your spending and allocating funds for specific categories, budgeting for these expenses, you can effectively track your spending, avoid overspending, and prioritize your financial goals. you can better understand where your money is going and make informed decisions about your financial priorities. The nine expenses mentioned savings, housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, debt, personal care, household items, and childcare cover some of the most common and significant costs individuals and families face each month. By including these expenses in your budget, you can ensure that you are managing your money effectively, paying down debt, and working towards your financial goals. Remember, the key is to regularly review and update your budget to adapt to any changes in your income or expenses.