Annual budgets aren’t just for big corporations or the wealthy. Whether you’re planning for a vacation, saving for retirement or buying a home, a yearly budget is very important. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just by spending as little as possible you can take control of your financial life. Being financially responsible can be easy with a well-planned budget!
1. Start By Estimating Your Income
Your income is all the money you can expect to earn or receive during a 12-month period. Sources of income include your wages/salary, tips, bonuses, commissions, rents and royalties, disability or social security benefits, alimony and child support.
2. Research Your Spending Habits
There’s several apps and online tools that will break down for you how you spend your money. Make sure you also gather your credit card statements and anything that comes directly out of your paycheck.
3. Map Out Your Future Expenses
Start with your fixed expenses, which are constants like your rent each month, your car payment, your internet/cable bill, credit card payments and student loans. Go through your bank statements and make sure you write down all the recurring payments before you move on to your variable expenses. Variable expenses are things you spend money on every month, but the amount can vary. These are things like your utility bill, which can increase in the summer and/or winter months.