If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve heard plenty about budgets in North Carolina

How important they are, how to set one up. If you’re not working with a budget now, hopefully you will start budgeting in 2022. It really is the best way to control your spending, save more, and get control of your finances. A budget lets you see what you’re doing wrong (and right) and lets you make good financial decisions ahead of time. A budget lets you understand exactly what you can spend and how. To begin a budget, you need to determine exactly how much you make each month and each year. If you earn a different amount each month, evaluate how much you make each month, on average, by looking at last year’s income taxes, learn more here localcashhelp.com Once you know how much you earn, you will need to figure out how much you spend. Tally up all the items you pay for on a regular basis and determine how much you pay each month for housing, savings, investments, clothes, personal care, food, utilities, student loan payments, credit card payments, personal loan payments, transportation or car costs, “pocket money” (the stuff you spend without even thinking about it at the local coffee shop). The point of a budget isn’t to make you feel wrong about where your money goes – it’s all about determining where your money does go.

One thing that many people struggle with when they first set up a budget is determining how much to spend on everything. In many cases, this is simply because people do not know how much they really spend on everything. A good thing to do, then, is to keep track of your expenses for at least one week. Note down every penny you spend, even if it’s only less than a dollar for gum. Save your receipts and then look at the results at the end of the week. Did you know that you spend hundreds of dollars a month on groceries? You may not realize it, but if you spend $100 on groceries each week and another $60 on restaurants, you are paying $640 for food alone. Now that you have figured out your monthly income, determine what percentage of your pay that amounts to. Do you really want to be spending that much on food? Creating a budget lets you determine where you want to be spending your money.

If you are in debt, when you create your budget make sure that you have allotted enough money to pay more than minimal payments on all your personal loans. The faster you pay your debts off, the more money you will have each month to spend on other things – things you want to spend money on.

budgets in North Carolina with bad creditWhen creating your budget, don’t forget to budget some “spare money” for incidental expenses and some savings money that you will put into a savings account long-term. Keep your budget flexible and it won’t feel like a deprivation – it will actually give you more freedom by freeing up your cash.

Now that we’ve examined some fundamentals of budgeting, here’s how to make it happen:

1) Use our budget worksheet to type in the numbers – what you will be spending each month on clothes, housing, loans for bad credit in North Carolina, utilities etc.

2) Develop some way of tracking your spending. How will you know whether you’ve gone over your budget? You won’t unless you keep track of where you actually do spend your money. At first, especially, you may not know where you spend your money unless you keep an eye on spending. There are lots of ways to keep track – you can use online banking or online spending trackers or just jot your spending in a planner or notebook. One simple way is to get receipts for everything and tally them up at the end of the day or the week to see how on track you are.

3) Don’t use your budget as a straightjacket. Budgets aren’t about “shoulds” – they’re about get-tos. If you want to get together with friends for a beer once a week, budget that expense in. And if there is a long-term goal (a trip to Paris, a great car) that you really want, open a savings account and budget some savings to be put towards your dream account each month. As you watch your dream get closer, you will become a big believer in budgeting.…