I'm sorry if this post sounds a bit on the harsh side, but money isn't like hair! Once it's gone, it's gone! It wont grow back! I'm not planning to go through the process of how to create a budget, however I am going to go through each contributing entity that creates a budget. A budget more or less is a spending plan, it identifies the way in which you expect to spend your money. After your expenses and spending, then you have what can be saved: we all love a happy ending.
Is this a starter-friendly budget? How much are you looking to save in 2011?
Gross Income refers to any money that is given to you. This shall include, but not limited to your 9 to 5, craigslist sales, clothes dropped off to Plato's, your personal business, gifts, child support, social security, tips, pensions and interest accrued on savings accounts.
Income Deductions refers to any money that is withheld by the government or your employers. This shall include, but not limited to Federal taxes, state taxes, Medicaid, FEMA, FICA, child support, social security, medical, dental, vision, life insurance, cancer policies, as well as most Retirement savings plans.
Net Income refers to the money that is left in your pocket after the government and your employer take their rations. Basically the money spent living month to month!
Rent/Mortgage/Housing funding put toward paying your current living arrangement. If you are currently paying a mortgage do include your monthly portion to your annual home association fees and property tax. If you currently have home insurance or renter's insurance, figure out the monthly expense and add this to your rent/mortgage/housing. By calculating your rent in this manner it eases your mind as to how many bills you have to pay.
*Utilities are all those amenities, some which are wants and some which are needs!! Water, sewer, garbage, gas and electricity are all needs! Unless you have a well, plan to chuck your own dunk, or use candles then these are essentials. This section may also include pest control, telephone services and Internet services.
*Home Maintenance For those of you with lavish lawns, polished pools and rigid roofs this would include gardening services, calling in the pool boy and replacing a shingle or two. Think about what things you are planning to do in order to keep your home in pristine condition. Buying a new vacuum cleaner or mop go in this section as it is maintaining the overall look of your home. However, use Home Maintenance for big purchase items and minor cleaning supplies under Food/Groceries.
*Transportation If your current form of transportation is your car, you like me may be moving into public transportation considering the rate of increase with gas prices. Do include your car payment, insurance,
gas fees, registration, cost of a new license, parking fees, bus ticket, subway cards, speeding tickets if you snag one, airplane cost, baggage claim charge, train ticket and any other incidental transportation charges. If you pay your car insurance twice a year, break it down into monthly expenses and add it to your car note.
*Food/Groceries Whether you made it at home or went to the bistro and picked up dinner, it counts as food! Even the soda you bought during lunch from the hall machine counts. This may also include personal hygiene and home cleaning products.
*Recreational Expenses Sadly this is where we spend a majority of our income. Humans are visual and social creatures and therefore we strive off of such adventures. We don't find pleasure in staying home and thus we delve deeply into shopping for clothes, shoes, accessories, electronics, gadgets, and even magazines and books. We also may spend mula on manis and pedis, personal pleasures, movies, bowling, skating, plays, traveling, vacations and even gifts for other people. Anything visual or social is, accept it, unnecessary!
*Debts refers to any money that has been loaned to you and is expected to be paid back! A credit card, whether a visa or store charge card, student loans, business loans, from-yo-momma-loan, anything you may have on layaway. I'm going to have to include child care in this section as well, because you know you are still going to take your baby! Debt!
*budgets are theoretical and expected to be mastered over time. When creating your budget give estimates and try to stick as close to this estimate as possible. Be realistic! Decide how much you want to have saved at the end of the month and divi the rest of your money adequately.