How to Plan Your Monthly Budget

How to Plan Your Monthly Budget

I've learned that the best way to plan my monthly budget is to start by looking at my past spending habits. I write down everything I spend money on, whether it's a $5 latte or a $50 trip to the movies, and then add up all of my expenses for the month. Once I have a total, I divide it by four and set aside that amount from each paycheck. That way, when payday comes around, I already have my monthly budget set aside and ready to go!

I know this sounds like a lot of work, but trust me: once you get into the habit of doing this every month, it will save you time and stress because you don't have to think about where your money is going anymore.

The most important thing to remember when creating a budget is that you need to be realistic: if you're planning on saving $1,000 per month, but you only have $1,000 left in the bank after paying your rent and utilities, it probably won't work out! If you want to make sure your budget works for you and not against you, start by setting aside some time to think about what kind of lifestyle and financial goals are most important to you. Then, break down how much money it will take each month for those things (like groceries or rent) into chunks that fit into your current spending habits.

Once you know how much money comes in each month and how much goes out (and what's leftover), divide everything up into categories like food/rent/utilities/clothes—whatever makes sense for your lifestyle. From there, try to come up with a realistic number for each category (like $300 per month for groceries). Once those numbers are set and accounted for in the budget.

The best way to plan your monthly budget is with a spreadsheet. You can make a simple one in Excel or Google Sheets—or use an app like Mint if you prefer not to download anything. All these resources will help you create a list of all the income coming into your household each month and what expenses you have going out. It will also allow you to predict future expenses by showing how much of each category has been spent in previous months or years (for example: if I know that we spend $100 on groceries every two weeks, then my spreadsheet will show me how much we'll spend on groceries between now and Christmas).

© Douglas Ficek