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How Do I Go About Developing A Personal Budget

Aug 17, 2007
The first thing that anyone should do when developing a personal budget is to determine his or her monthly income after taxes. When talking about the income you have after taxes we are talking about the money that you actually take home. This is the money that gets deposited into your checking account from your paycheck.

However, if you have a variable income it is best if you use an average of the last three months instead. The next thing you need to do is list your fixed monthly expenses such as rent or mortgage, car payment (if any), phone, electricity and any other utility bills that you may have. Although all of these numbers may not stay the same month after month you first need to determine a baseline budget of where you are at the present time.

What is important however is that you include all of your bills into this list including those that are paid quarterly, monthly or annually (such as car insurance).

What you need to do with these figures is calculate what they would be on a monthly basis, so say for example your water bill comes in each quarter then you need to divide this figure by 3.

Once you have worked out what your monthly income and expenses are you simply deduct one from the other. At the end of this you will be left with a variable amount of money that you are free to spend in any way you want for the rest of the month.

With this money you need to start listing what your main categories of changeable spending is going to be. In listing you will need to include your grocery shopping, any entertainment, medical expenses, clothing, drying cleaning, personal care (such as haircuts etc.) and any gifts/presents that you may need to buy. Once you have your list of changeable expenses you now need to put a figure beside each one as to what you think you are going to spend each month on them.

You will know that you have succeeded when developing a personal budget because once you have deduced both the fixed and changeable expenses from your monthly income that you have some money left over. Also by being able to see all the numbers in black and white in front you, it will help you too prioritize your spending better and know that you will not be short at the end of each month.
About the Author
For more information on creating a home finance budget try visiting http://www.debtlessons.com where you will find debt management tips, advice and resources.
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