Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Budget Talk

My sister has lived in NYC one full month and of course already feels broke. In her defense, her rent almost exceeds her paycheck and a girls gotta live it up in the city, right?

So with that, lately there has been a lot of money talk in our family.

Couple that with my brother who is also employed but constantly counting pennies {insert: girlfriend, golf, etc} and I thought the bossy Big Sis should introduce the friendly word... Budget.

{Disclaimer}: By no means am I a money expert.

My out-go often exceeds my in-come.

But I am a Right brainer. I love numbers and budgets.
I found one of my first budget spreadsheets, post college-just entering workforce.


Clearly I liked to eat out. Who grocery shops at 23, right?!

I have come a long way. But, those sure were the good 'ole days. 

Budgeting can be a positive thing. It gives you a 'sense of reality & perspective.'

It can also be very in your face...tough to admit you spent $ on that shirt or $ on a bar tab.

So, for my siblings and any other recently employed & non-budgeters, I found these simple tips on How to Budget:

*Keep it Simple. Break expenses into two categories: Fixed & Variable. As for variable, list main categories that fit your lifestyle and have a miscellaneous category for infrequent purchases (Avoid my above budget!)

*Stay on top of it. Make an effort to frequently track your spending. (I found a good time is Monday morning after a big wkend).

*Review and adjust. At the end of the month, take a minute to review your spending and adjust the areas you need to cut back. You should know what to expect from your income and your fixed costs (rent, bills, insurance, cell, etc). If your expenses are exceeding your income, make an effort to pull back next month in the variable areas.

Give it a shot. I promise you will like it. It becomes almost a game and if it's not your thing then...Who Cares, it's your Dough to do whatever you want !

For those that budget, have any tips or tricks you've found successful?

1 comment:

  1. re: Monday morning budgeting: I wait til Tuesday after all the holds have processed...that's when you're dealing with some cold, hard facts, and at least it's not Monday anymore...

    I love this, Cole. maybe we need to have a sit-down re: my own finances..?