You need to buy new clothes, but you also want to buy a new phone. How do you choose?
To make good decisions about how to spend your money, start by setting your money goals and work toward achieving them with a plan in mind. A personal budget is a plan that helps you put the money you’ve earned toward savings, expenses (lunch, bus or entertainment money) or paying off debt (money you may have borrowed).
When you’re creating a budget, it is important to understand the difference between something you need to have and something you want to have.
Remember to take care of your needs first, so you can think about saving for what you want. A budget can not only help you consider your immediate needs and wants, but prepare you to achieve your long-term financial goals. You may have some short-term goals that you can achieve in a matter of weeks, or long-term goals that will take years to attain.
IT ALL ADDS UP
Start creating a budget by setting goals for how you would like to spend and save your money over a specific time period.
Be sure to consider everything you may want or need to purchase and separate those into categories. A ride on the bus would go under transportation, and your favorite snack would fall under food.
Complete the budget below by filling out how much money you would like to spend in different categories each month. The goal of a budget is to have money left over for saving, so you should start by thinking about how much you earn.
Please enter a valid value for your monthly income
Please enter a valid value for your monthly expenses
DID YOU KNOW?
Streaming movies at home instead of going to the theater can add up to significant savings.
TURN SPENDING INTO SAVING
The goal of a budget is to have money left to save.
Once you can see where you would like to allocate your money, you may be surprised by certain categories that add up more than you thought. These can be good opportunities to cut back. The money you spent on a shopping trip might be better spent somewhere else, especially if you have 0 in your total savings for the month.
Planning a budget helps you make choices about which goals you should prioritize.
A new notebook for school
A new winter coat
A new smartphone
Budgeting now for your future can help set you up for achieving goals as well as the unexpected expenses that can come up.
Every once in a while, something unexpected happens and you have to spend more money than you planned. Whether it’s something small like stepping on your sunglasses and having to buy a new pair or something bigger like needing a new smartphone, it’s always good to have money saved for a rainy day.
True or False?
It's important to prioritize a want over a need when creating a budget.