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The Question

I want to create a budget but I don’t know where to start. It seems that at the end of each month, I’m like my favorite pizza joint at the end of a busy night, low on dough. How do I create a budget and keep track of my expenses?

Our Answer

Sure. Creating a budget is the best way to make your money last. And the more you practice the easier creating and sticking to a budget will be! The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out what your necessary or “required” monthly expenses are such as; rent, car payment, cell phone, food, etc. Do you have any debts? If so, you’ll also want to start paying those down and creating a savings account. List all of these monthly expenses on a sheet of paper with a line for each type of expense. Now total them up. Then make a list of all your income sources over the course of a month. (Such as a job, allowance, scholarship, per cap, and even money from side gigs like selling burritos, doing beadwork, or replacing the water pump in your auntie’s Cavalier.) Put these on a sheet of paper and total them up too. Hopefully, when you compare the two totals, you’ll find that you have more income than you have in expenses. Any additional money is yours to spend as you choose. But try putting some of it into savings.

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