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What are budgets and why should I have one?

A budget is a record of an individual’s income and expenses that will guide the individual to be financially successful. A budget can be as simple as writing down basic monthly income and expense amounts on a piece of paper or creating a detailed worksheet with information for each day of the week. A budget can help individuals reach a variety of financial goals such as saving for a car or encourage an individual to spend less money on clothes or eating out.

Guideline for Creating a Budget

  • Track your expenses for a month so you know exactly where you are spending your money.
  • Evaluate your income vs. expenses.
  • Classify your expenses into wants and needs.
  • Determine if the expenses in the ‘want’ category can be reduced.
  • Create your budget for a week or month and stick to this budget.
  • Write down your short-term and long-term financial goals, so that while you are following your budget you know what goals you are trying to achieve.

Download a sample budget worksheet to help you get started.

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