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Quick Budget

If you’ve never had to budget before it can sometimes seem like an overwhelming task. There are all kinds of elaborate methods to create very exact budgets that track everything. For most of us, this is probably overkill and prevents us from getting to the task of actually saving money. To get started today you can do something very simple. Take all of your absolute necessary expenses. We’ll call these our fixed expenses. These are the things that we can’t stop paying without making some major life changes.

Examples, include

Mortgage $1,000
Babysitting $500
Utilities $250

The next step is to list out your monthly income

Salary $3,000
Spouse Salary $2,000

Next you will need to think about how much you would like to save. You’ll need a cash buffer and to save for retirement. You may want to think about other goals such as your next car and whether or not you will save for your kids college education. This is the whole idea of pay yourself first. It represents a way to make sure you put your savings goal first.

The difference is then the amount you can spend on all the other things.
Obviously, you need to think about groceries, gas and everything else that you need day to day. I purposefully lump all of these items into one big general fund. Because they involve a large range of trade offs that you will need to think about. This is the opportunity to get creative.

You can think about what you truly value and use to make your life fulfilling. Personally, there is no way I could actually live without Internet access, but I could live without my NetFlix account. To save on gas I started carpooling and got a special fuel perks card. If I really want some purchase that I can’t afford perhaps I’ll find some coupons or cut back in other spots.

A great one we have started is cooking with our kids. We save money by not going out and our kids really enjoy it. I’m sure you can think of similar examples to help you cut back spending, but still enjoy life.

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