Financial Literacy is not rocket science. We can all understand finances and be better at them. Budgeting, credit scores, credit lines, and debt metrics can seem like foreign languages as a teenager. In this financial literacy series, I want to give a high level understanding of important topics. Budgeting will be the first of the series, because everyone loves budgets. (Read this as a playful understanding you may not actually love budgets)
Planning how to utilize resources will directly impact you. A budget is a crucial component to planning. Budgets create your expectations on what will be available for use and the applicable limitations around resources available. Your budget has to reflect what you prioritize and be reasonable enough that you can firmly stick to it. The below list provides steps to beginning your budget, remember a budget regularly needs to be adjusted for circumstance.
Easy Steps to Prepare Your Budget
- Approximate your available resources.
- Prioritize your spending.
- Create a Template. (Office/Google Sheets Pre-built options tied to pay frequency)
- Input realistic spending.
- Firmly enforce budget. (Honor system, you’ll know if you stuck to this)
- Adjust as needed to reflect actual spending
As a finance professional, I admittedly like a good budget but I have doubts on whether everyone else likes them. The truth is, a budget is your grocery list. In order for a grocery list to work you have to know what you have currently in the fridge, and what you want to eat in the future. Budgets aren’t hard to make and they will provide insight into how you are spending your hard earned money.