There’s nothing overly exciting about creating a budget (unless you’re super creative, and can turn it into a piece of art in your bullet journal) but it’s a great skill to have. Knowing how to budget effectively from early on will set you up for plenty of things, from knowing how to manage your money to saving for a car.
Give your budget a home
First thing’s first, if you’re creating a budget then you’ll have to refer back to it now and again. So it’s best to keep everything together.
This could be the perfect opportunity to pick up a cute new notebook, try out your excel skills or download a new app for all your budgeting needs. It’s completely up to you, as long as everything can be kept together.
Track your must-haves
At this stage, you’re probably not paying a whole lot of bills. Maybe a monthly charge for your phone, or something towards the housekeeping. But it all adds up.
Get your pen and paper out and write down all the money you take in, down to the cent, then add up all your monthly spends. From bus fare to your nail appointment.
Add up your spends
This one is a little trickier because you don’t know exactly how much you’ll be spending on things that don’t come every month. Think ahead of what you have going on during the following week or month (depending on how often you’re budgeting) and have a guess at how much you’re going to need.
Getting your hair done? Write that down. Have your friend’s birthday coming up? Yep, write that down too.
Set your savings goal
Saving is another skill that is great to have from early on. You might not think it’s a skill exactly, but some people are better at it than others. So, you’re better off getting into the habit early on (trust me on that one!). Now is the time to set a savings goal.
This can be as small or big as you want, depending on what you want to achieve. But once you know what you’re saving for, it makes things a whole lot easier.
Do the maths
Now that you know what money is coming in and what’s coming out, it’s time to do the maths. What you have leftover is what you can now play around with. This is when your priorities come in. If you’re saving for something special, you can add a little more into your savings from the money you have leftover. If you have an extra busy month, you’ll have this bit of cash to fall back on.
Take all the advice you can get
Ask your parents, guardians, older siblings, or anyone who you trust for their advice on money management and budgeting. Starting your own budget can take a bit of getting used to, so take all the advice you can get and find out what works for you.
Try to make it fun
Okay, it might not exactly be the most craic you’ll ever have. But at least you can try. Get creative with it, using a bullet journal with some fab colours.
Or, once you see your savings start to go up, get excited about what it is you’re saving for. Each budget you’re creating is one step closer to that divine palette, your first car, or a mini-break away with the girls.