Making a realistic budget that you can stick to and use to get out of debt takes a little time but it’s worth it. Today is the day we gather all the numbers together to set your monthly spending budget.
This is the third step in setting up a budget you can live with. If you missed one of the other steps you can see them all here.
Now we can now determine the monthly spending on everyday things.
I hope you stuck to your usual spending habits while you were collecting receipts over the last few weeks. You don’t want to end up with a budget that too restrictive.
If you know you curbed your spending this past month be sure to pad the numbers in each area just a little to be on the safe side. It no fun trying to live within an unrealistic budget.
Building your Spending Budget with Receipts
Take all your grocery receipts and total them up. Make sure to include any extra trips to get things you might have forgotten. Now write this amount down on a piece of paper with groceries next to it.
If you go out to eat, get your receipts for those purchases. Write down on your paper the amount you paid for the month on eating out with eating out next to it.
Do this for every category you can think of that you spent money on.
If there is something you normally would spend money on but this month you didn’t, write it down too and do your best to estimate how much you usually spend.
None of this has to be absolutely to the penny spending, although if you have all the receipts and can do that, good for you. What you want is a good baseline budget to start with.
It doesn’t have to be set in stone, just a good starting point.
Once you have accounted for all your monthly receipts on your paper, total all of them up.
This is your monthly spending beyond your bills. Write it down at the bottom of the page. Now you have an idea of how much money you need for your bills and how much you need for spending.
You are one step closer to having your budget completed. You are doing a great job just a few more steps and we are done.
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