After a short skimming of the internet for some post ideas, I figured it out: People make budgeting waaaay to hard!
No wonder folks don’t set up a budget! In my short internet search, I came across a page chock-full of graphs, grids, analysis and assessment. For a budget! People get stuck in the “get ready to get ready phase.” People think they can’t budget because it’s too hard (or too boring.)
You don’t need to know Excel, or have a computer program to budget. You don’t even need to have a piggy bank. —Although, one of my favorite piggy banks as a kid was from Mexico. A white pig, with some colorful abstract paint designs. Another favorite bank of mine was a big blue “mailbox.” Two of my favorite things: money, and mail! Those banks are long gone.
Almost as old, a tin can with a plastic lid. The tin is covered with bright, colorful tissue paper I cut into primary shapes. The pieces overlap. I cut out a coin slot on the lid, and around it glued a Henry David Thoreau affirmation, “Keep moving in the direction of your dreams.” Every so often, I fill the empty coin rolls sitting in the tin—even if I end up with $7.50, I take it to the bank for deposit.
That’s part of budgeting. (Saving.) The other part is (no, not spending) tracking what you spend. It can be on paper, computer (again, you don’t need Excel. Just keep track of what you’re spending money on.) You can even use an envelope. Put receipts for one month. If you don’t get a receipt, grab a scratch piece of paper/napkin/business card etc. and write down $10. movies. Put it in the envelope.
At the end of the month, add up your expenses. Subtract them from the amount of money you have to spend.
income minus expenses equals extra or short.
What’s your plan?
THAT is a budget in a nutshell.