How To Create a Weekly BudgetNovember 28, 2014
In this day and age, it seems that there is seldom enough money for us to enjoy all the things we wish to enjoy. Living on the fast track, it’s easy to tear through a paycheck in one afternoon of shopping and socializing. Typically, this leads to debt, stress and worry. But, by using a few tried and true tips, you can create for yourself a weekly budget that will allow you to keep on top of your finances and still have enough left over to spoil yourself now and then.
Assess Your Current Funds
First, you need to know how much money you have to work with. Add up your monthly expenses, such as rent or mortgage, as well as other non-negotiable monthly payments and subtract that number from the total funds you have coming in. This number is what you’ll be working with for your weekly budget.
What Are You Spending?
Now create a list of what you are currently spending on every week. From gas to dining out, movies and drinks, get as detailed as you can. Keeping your receipts handy will help you be more accurate. For those little costs, such as snacks, parking meters, etc, estimate as best you can, but err on the high side if you’re not sure of the numbers. If this proves too difficult, simply add up all your expenses into one monthly pile and divide by four.
Once you have that list, as well as total weekly costs, hopefully you’ll find that you’re spending less than you’re bringing in. If not, it’s time for some serious personal saving measures. Otherwise, credit and banking headaches await.
Make Some Changes
Assuming you are still in the black on a weekly basis, it’s time to consider how much more you wish to save, and how you might go about doing so, without depriving yourself too much. Could you live with a cheaper brand of coffee? Pack a lunch one more day per week? Little tweaks to our daily routines really add up quickly, and so will the savings. Make a list of these small changes so that you won’t forget, and do your best to not only stick to the new routine, but to reassess regularly and see what other changes you might be willing to make.
Do It For Yourself
Don’t forget that you’re doing this for you. It isn’t punishment for something, or an exercise in self-torture. You will reap the rewards of your own thriftiness, whether it’s being able to afford that tropical vacation you’ve wanted for years, or simply freedom from having to obsessively check your bank balance every day or worry about whether your next check will clear. If you can make a game out of it, so much the better!
In the end, creating a weekly budget will bring your own financial picture into focus and make life a lot less stressful. Once you’ve become a pro at estimating your financial ebb and flow, it will become second nature and happen with minimal conscious effort on your part. So go out there, take control, and don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the little things.