I am Dr.RandiBMD, your Board Certified Pediatrician and financial wellness expert. I provide your RX to wealth and financial well-being.
Some of us have one, many of us don’t! But a budget is necessary if you want to know where your money is going and how it is spent. Having a budget makes it easy to see where you need to make necessary changes that will allow you to reach the financial goals you’ve set for yourself and your family.
Here are 7 easy steps to get you on your way!
What are your financial goals? Do you want to save, invest, buy a home or car? Your goals must be specific, have a time frame, have a cost (i.e. the amount you want to spend on a home or car) and be realistic for you. You can categorize these goals as the following: Short, long term goals.
Gather all your documents – everything from your rental/mortgage statements, your utility bills, debit and credit cards, and student loans. In many cases, you can download these documents and transactions to an excel spreadsheet which will make organizing much easier.
Jot down for a week or two your expenditures.
If you do not have a good handle on your expenses or you find that you use cash a great deal, track your expenditures on your smartphone or small notebook for two to three weeks. This will give you an accurate picture of where you are spending your dollars each day.
Determine what is a fixed expense vs. variable expense.
Your expenses can be either fixed, meaning your expenses are the same each month such as rent or a mortgage, or they can be variable such as groceries or dry cleaning. It’s easy to account for a fixed expense. However, to budget for variable expenses may be a bit more difficult. I suggest adding up your variable expenses by category (such as dry cleaning) over the past year and divide those expenditures by 12. This should give you an idea of how much you should budget for a month.
Determine your monthly income.
You are salaried employee; you will know what you bring home (net income) each month. If you are a seasonal employee or if your monthly income varies, you will have to budget on a month to month basis due to variability of income.
Determine what you what to save. Actually, savings should be high up in your budget because you should pay yourself first with a goal to save at least 10 to 15% of your gross income to be divided between retirement saving and savings for your non-retirement financial goals.
Record them and compare!
Now that you have your income and expenses, record them via an excel sheet (if you are old school like me) or use one of the many software applications such as Quicken, Mint or YNAB (You need a budget). Try and pick a method that works well with you. Once your budget is set, compare your actual expenses to your budgeted expenses for the month and adjust with keeping your financial goals in mind!
I am Dr.RandiBMD, your Board Certified Pediatrician and your financial wellness expert. I provide your RX to wealth and financial well-being. Please follow me at DrRandibMD.com and @DrRandibMD on IG, FB, and Twitter. And download my free video
– LEARN FIVE CREATIVE STEPS TO INCREASE INCOME at www.rxtowealth.com