Budgeting: Steps for how to budget effectively

Creating a budget will allow you to see your monthly income and outgoings more clearly, which may help you with managing your finances better.  

As a result of this, you may find that you have greater control over your money and are less likely to get into financial problems in the future.

Despite this, many people do not actually know how to successfully budget and why it’s important for them.

So, we have created a step by step guide, which will show you how to budget effectively.

Step 1: Calculate your total monthly income

First of all you need to understand how much money you bring in every month.  You should include all your revenue streams, such as wages, pensions, and any other benefits you receive.

In doing so, you will be able to see how much money you have available for all your monthly expenses.

Step 2: Work out your total monthly expenses

The next step is to calculate all of your monthly outgoings. It may be easier to begin with the larger and more important expenses, which will have a greater impact if you do not pay them. For example, rental or mortgage payments, bills including water, gas, electricity, broadband and council tax.

Following this, you should consider how much you spend on your general living expenses, including clothes, food, leisure activities, cleaning supplies, toiletries, savings and any other costs you have.

It is also important that you think about payments that you may not make on a monthly basis, as these still contribute. This includes gifts, TV license, repairs, treatments and vet bills.

This will clearly highlight your spending habits and allow you to understand whether you need to cut back in any areas.

Step 3: Subtract your total monthly expenses from your total monthly income

Budget effectively

Finally, you need to subtract your costs from your income, to understand how much money you have spare each month.

If you find that your income is not covering your costs or it is very tight, then you might want to consider areas where you could reduce your expenses.

However, if your budget indicates that you actually have some money left over every month, then you might feel that there is nothing you need to do further.

So, why is budgeting actually important?

Budgeting helps you to keep track of your outgoings, which can mean that you are less likely to miss any important payments you have.

It can also indicate any bad spending habits and potentially could highlight areas where you could make some savings.

Therefore, using a budget can be a really useful way to get greater control over your finances and improve your overall lifestyle.

Although it may seem like a time-consuming activity, the benefits that can be gained are definitely worth it.