5 Ways To (Basically) Budget

By Najee Person

We know it can get hard with so many bills to juggle and remember. The necessary expenses such as your phone bill, food, and transportation can be overwhelming. All these things even start spinning around in your mind until you get nauseous. Check out our four tips on budgeting to relieve you of those stresses!

1. Categorize your spending

What do you spend money on in a week? Probably more than you think.  Categorizing is the key to being smarter with your money. Go through your weekly expenditures and categorize everything. Know exactly what you are spending you money on. Putting things into categories will help you see where your spending is on point and where it is out of control.  

2. Prioritize Your Spending

What’s more important, what you’ll eat for the week or the latest shoes launching soon? You may pick the shoes to fulfill your shopping desire, but you will be shopping hungry. If you prioritize (focus on) how you spend your money, your dollars will stretch farther. How? Find out what you absolutely need to spend your money on and pay for those things first. Have extra money after paying the bills and putting away some for savings and still want those shoes? Call around to different stores for sales or discounts. Many retailers offer rewards programs to earn coupons towards your shoe purchase! Thank us later. 

3. Organize Your Income

Knowing what you have in your wallet is very important.  You need to know how much money you have to spend before you spend it. Account for all the money you make-- income from your job, allowance, or the few dollars you made tutoring. Add it all up and know exactly what your budget is. 

     4. Create A Budget Planner & Track Expenses

Writing everything you spend down is the next step to being that much closer to having complete organization within your finances. Just like you had a planner in school, you should also have some type of a notebook to keep you organized financially. Also, there are apps like Mint, Mvelopes, and Billguard that would be more fitting for today's generation who keep their phones by their side. You don’t want any surprises when it comes to your money. Being organized brings structure to your life and finances.  

For example, a list always works for me when it comes to keeping track of things. Taking down notes via smartphone or paper works. Need supplies for school? Write each of those supplies out and stick to the list in the store. Need breakfast to start your day? Make a grocery list of healthy, affordable and fast things to eat before starting your day instead of hitting the fast food joint every morning.  This method will help you be prepared!

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    5. Stack Your Money Higher Than Your Bills

Know your spending limits. Keep track of how much money you’re bringing in. Proactive habits like this are you sure you have enough money set aside for all of your bills. There is a app that is called Spending Tracker which can provide additional help with making sure you don't go over and something you can pull up at anytime. The worst situation is coming up short on bills because you overspent for the week. Think of your bills as a graph, some are more than others but that's the way it goes so make sure you're ready when they come