How to Create a Monthly Budget

A recent Gallup Poll finds that 32% of people make a detailed budget each month. That can only mean one thing: The majority of people out there haven’t discovered the bang that a budget can put into your bucks.

Creating a budget gives you control over your money. You tell it what to do. That feeling of power is a great way to start each new month with a bang! A budget is actually simple to make once you know some basics—and we’ve got them right here.

Here are three important things to remember when making your monthly budget:

1. Budget before the month begins. Pick a day late in the month to budget for the following month. Block out a certain time to focus solely on your numbers—no Netflix or Spotify distractions allowed. But don’t be afraid to bring along a bowl of your favorite ice cream or some other treat. Make this a fun time!

2. Budget down to zero. Enter next month’s income so you know how much money you have to pay bills, invest and spend on clothes and concerts. Include all the money that comes in—your regular paychecks, side jobs, bonuses and so on. Then determine an exact amount to spend for each category as well as any debt or savings goals. Once you’ve done that, every dollar you will make next month should be accounted for.

3. Track your expenses. Keep tabs on how much you spend to keep yourself on track. This will help you achieve your goals and keep you from overspending. If you budget $100 for eating out and spend $20 at a restaurant on Saturday with friends, track that transaction so you’re aware that you have $80 left. If you spend it all before the end of the month, you know to warm up some leftovers in the microwave that last weekend.

Create a plan. Follow it. Reach your goals. It’s that simple! With an EveryDollar budget, you can have your money plan up and running in just a few minutes.

Create a free budget in less than 10 minutes with EveryDollar!