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Making a Monthly Budget: A Guide

Oct 18, 2022

Budgeting calculations - Making a Monthly Budget: A Guide

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A monthly budget is one of the most essential tools at your disposal regardless of your current financial situation and income. It’s easy not to notice that you overspend each month if you don’t have a budget.

Even your lunch-break coffees may cost you about $70 if you calculate them. It’s important to start noticing these spending habits and identify what needs to be adjusted or changed.

A monthly budget is what you can use to see how much you earn and spend your income. Here are some things for you to consider.

What Is a Budget and Why Do You Need One?

Your budget presents a plan for how you spend your income every month. Having a budget is a necessary thing as many recurring costs, like mortgage, utilities, rent, or loan payments happen every month.

Many surveys asked consumers about the reasons for making a budget. The two most popular reasons for budgeting include debt payoff and boosting savings.

In other words, budgeting is important for you if you either want to pay existing debts off and become financially independent or increase your wealth.

If you don’t have a plan for your income, you won’t be able to reach your monetary objectives and stay determined.

The budget should teach you significant things such as spending less than you earn. The common issue of modern life is higher rates of inflation which cause people to spend more and more without the ability to boost their earning potential.

Many American consumers opt for no credit check cash advance apps as a decent alternative to expensive payday lending.

This option works best if you urgently require a small sum and want to avoid a hard credit inquiry.

Having a budget will help you make a specific plan for your monthly expenses so that you have enough cash to set aside for emergencies.

You will learn how to be more organized and mindful with your spending as well as how to prioritize expenses and lower unnecessary costs.

Budgeting Options

How will individuals cover a $400 emergency expense when not utilizing cash or its functional equivalent?

The Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households by the Federal Reserve found out that 45 percent of consumers will put it on their credit card and repay over time, 29 percent will borrow from a relative or friends, 27 percent of respondents won’t be able to cover the expense straight away, 18 percent of people will sell something, 8 percent will turn to a lending option or a bank loan, while 5 percent of consumers will take out a deposit advance or a payday loan.

How consumers pay emergency expense - Making a Monthly Budget: A Guide


Here are the top budgeting resources for you to choose from:

  • Savings accounts. Savings is an essential part of budgeting. You will need to have a savings account to keep your money in. Monthly fees and interest rates are two main things to search for in a perfect savings account. In case a consumer doesn’t maintain a minimum balance, a monthly fee can be charged. Make certain you follow the demands of your financial company or bank where you open this account.
  • Budget apps. Are you scared you won’t be able to cope with budgeting? You may take advantage of one of the budgeting apps to avoid tedious work. There is a large variety of apps such as EveryDollar or Mint to help you track your spending, monitor savings, and improve your financial habits.
  • Budget calculator. A great option is to choose an online budget calculator to understand what your net income is. You may be offered some adjustments and changes if you utilize this calculator. Besides, you will figure out how much you spend per month.
  • Checking accounts. A checking account differs from a savings account. The first option serves your daily expenses and needs, while the second is for storing your funds. If you follow the transaction history of your bank account you will be able to track your expenses and see how much you spent last month.
  • Microsoft Office template. This is a suitable resource for consumers who still want to create a manual budget without modern digital tools. You may set several spending categories and fill in each cell with the sum you spent on a particular spending category.

Ways to Create a Monthly Budget

We should encourage young people to learn more about finances and boost their financial literacy.

You may search for activities and resources designed for youth financial education on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau web platform.

Students will be able to answer relevant questions, set their objectives, and define how to balance their needs and want while they also learn how to make their monthly household budget.

Here are the ways to create your monthly budget:

1.      Calculate Your Income

Do you know how much you spend a month? It’s easy to answer this question if you are a full-time employee and have a regular job.

Those who are self-employed, small business owners, or freelancers find this question tricky. You may have a variable income or even have a side hustle.

It’s necessary to add all your income streams to know your average earnings. Subtract your self-employment tax before you calculate your net monthly income if you are self-employed.

Having a side gig, several jobs, and getting government benefits or child support should also be included in your monthly income.

2.      Know Your Expenses

Now that you know how much you earn, it’s essential to understand how much you spend. Check your bank statements and credit card statements for the past several months to learn where your income has gone.

Experts advise consumers to divide their monthly costs into two sections: fixed and variable ones.

Fixed expenses stay the same each month and may include your mortgage or rent, food, utilities, and transportation costs.

Variable expenses may differ each month and include entertainment costs or clothing needs. Track your spending to check if you need to lower certain expenses.

3.      Design a Budget

A great budgeting strategy is to pay yourself first. Mention various items that correspond to each spending type.

Make sure you prioritize your needs and expenses.

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For instance, if you want to save for a down payment to purchase a home or establish an emergency fund, you should first allocate a portion of your income into these categories.

Some people aim to get rid of present debt so they should put debt repayment in their budget first. Review your spending habits to see what needs to be adjusted.

The Bottom Line

Having a budget is essential for each American today. Keep in mind that this is a living document that can be altered.

Once you establish your monthly budget, you may come back to it and refine it in a few months.

Keep on tracking your expenses and follow your spending plan as your needs and financial goals may change along the way.

NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Making a Monthly Budget: A GuideThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit:

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