Lani on Life

Part 1: How to Get Your Budget in Check

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Let’s talk about the “B” word. You need to figure out how to get your “B” in check. No not the one you may “accidently” call someone who cuts you off in traffic. The one that is hindering a lot of our lives but we refuse to talk about and dicusss. BUDGET !

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We are still in the first quarter of the new year, so this is a fine time to sit down and realize how out of whack your budget may be. My husband and I have been attempting to get our budgets in check for quite a while now. This year we took a leap, we are taking some budgeting classes, and we are going full course ahead to get that “B” in check. How are we doing it? The same way others before us have done it. If you’re prepared to make a change in your life and get some things on course for the future, here is how you can get your budget in check.

Understand your income

First, you need to understand your household income. You cannot adequately make a plan to get your budget in check if you don’t know where your money is coming from and how much. If you are single, this will be a little bit easier than if you are married. Married couples need to get a snapshot of the total household income, as well as independent owners.

For many of us “millennials” when we got married we threw out traditional roles and kept most of our money separate. No? Just me? Okay. Trust me, it is so hard to account for every dollar when everyone is doing their own thing. You are trying to see the big picture but you are missing pieces of the puzzle. Get all the money in one place to fully understand your earning power. Once you understand your income, you can identify debt and identify the budget killers.

Identify debt

Next you need to identify your household debt. Debt is the enemy of budgets! We all have some debt, and we need to be frank about how much we owe. This is a crucial part in getting your budget in check. Identifying you debt allows you to create a plan of attack to irradicate that debt. Think about it, the longer you owe money the longer you will not have the money you thought you were earning.

Take that number and write it down, put it in a place you and your spouse see on a daily basis. This is not to remind you of the debt shadow looming over you head. But this should serve as a reminder of the goals you have to eliminate your debt and will encourage you to stick with your plan, stick to your newly planned household budget.

Devise a plan

If you have taken this time to understand your household income and identified all areas of debt, you are well on your way. The next step is to devise a plan. Planning your budget will be tough. You need to sit down and consider how much money you are already spending in several different categories. Print out your monthly statements and look at each line item and place them in categories. If you have a bank app that does this for you, even better.

Next, determine what percentage of your income you are currently spending in each category (for example, 30% on housing, 5% on entertainment etc). Then, calculate how much you should be spending based on your income. If you are having trouble on this step, be sure to download my free budget check up to get you going.

This will be the basis of your new budget. Stop at this point and take the time to get this in order using my free budget planner and come back. In parrt 2 of how to get your budget in check we will talk about idenitfing budget “killers”, executing your plan, and reassessing and readjusting your budget.

Keep doing (the best) you boo!

xoxo Lani

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19 thoughts on “Part 1: How to Get Your Budget in Check

  1. This is awesome! How many of us don’t think to write down how much we’re in debt? We want to ignore that number and pretend (almost) that we oblivious to it, but we won’t get anything accomplished that way.

  2. Organisation is the key to saving. if you know where your money comes in and out is a great way to check of where should be your priorities. These tips are all achievable. Great read 🙂

  3. Congrats on working on your budget! I judst recently signed up for some budgeting classes. For some reason no matter how hard I try I just cant seem to figure it out! I almost feel like I need to hire someone to make it for me and I just follow along. lol.

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