Friday, July 23, 2010

Financial Friday: Starting with a Budget

I've been working the past few weeks through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Curriculum. It is pretty amazing. So this week I've been working to create a budget. One of the tools that I've been using is the link below. It is a Budgeting Tool

One of the first parts of creating a budget is setting SMART Goals.

Specific: State exactly what is to be done with the money involved.
Measurable: Write the exact dollar amount.
Attainable: Determine how it can be reached.
Realistic: Do not set the goal for something unattainable or unrealistic. This involves reviewing a spending plan to ensure the amount allocated can be saved.
Time Bound: Specifically state when the goal needs to be reached.

These can be short term or long term goals. Simple goals like paying off a credit card or car. Or goals like saving up for a vacation.

Next start your budget. Your budget should include fixed expenses (same amount each month) and flexible expenses (those that change amounts each time). Your budget should never exceed your income. Include in your budget everything: housing, utilities, car payments, groceries, transportation, insurance, entertainment, etc. Make a list of each of these areas. Here is a good example for starting a budget.

Remember once more your expenses should never exceed your expenses!!

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