You Need A Budget! {Part 1}

You Need A Budget
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Part 1: Where Do I Begin?

Yes, you do need a budget. Everyone needs a budget, even those millionaire athletes, you know, those that often times end up bankrupt because they didn’t have a budget. If you’ve never made a budget before, that’s okay. Hopefully, I’ll give you some useful information in this series to help you get in control of your finances. Then, once you make a budget, you have to keep track of it. I believe that YNAB (You Need a Budget) is an EXTREMELY helpful tool in keeping up with your budget. So first and foremost, you have to decide why YOU are making a budget.

Of course, I think everyone needs a budget, but if that isn’t your state of mind you may need a reason to budget. Maybe you just want to save a little money, have a major expense coming up, or are just wondering why there is no money left in your bank account days before every paycheck. And this step is extremely important if you are married. Money is a major cause of disagreements in marriage so try to get on the same page before you even begin making a budget.

So after you’ve decided WHY you are making a budget and have gotten on the same page with your significant other (if applicable), it’s time to decide on your budget categories. Dave Ramsey’s form below will help with this.  

Budget Form

Click for printable version

That’s just a starting point for your categories. Don’t even worry with amounts yet. Once you decide where your money is going to go, you can fill in amounts. I’ll get into all of that next week though. 

Here are the budget categories we use (right now):

Giving
Tithes
Sponsor

Monthly
Mortgage
Internet
Phones
TV
Electricity
Water
Daycare
Life Insurance
Gym

Accumulating
Dogs
Medical
Car Insurance
Car Maintenance
Car Registration
Clothing
Blog
Etsy
Gifts

Fluctuating
Groceries
Fuel
Food Out
Entertainment
Blow Money

Other
Special Purchases
Misc
To Be Reimbursed
Car Payment
Student Loans
Snowball

Of course, yours will look completely different. I budget for EVERYTHING. If I didn’t budget for oil changes and car tags, what if I needed both the same month and it was a total of $150.. where would I pull that from? Your categories will probably change over time–a lot if you’re anything like me.

Do you have budget categories for every little thing or just have your “bill money” and “spending money”? How does your system work for you?

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5 thoughts on “You Need A Budget! {Part 1}

  1. We definitely need a budget. The closest thing we have is the automatic drafts into savings accounts with each paycheck. Thanks for the details, I’ll definitely be coming back to this post!

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  2. Belinda

    I LOVE having a budget! We’ve had a fortnightly budget for about 3 years now (my husband gets paid fortnightly). We have some set categories, such as Groceries, Stockpiling, Entertainment, Petrol, Debt repayment etc and then tailor the other categories for our specific needs for that fortnight. We have a brief fortnightly meeting on a day leading up to the new budget, where we look through our diaries for any social plans, what other expenses we have, such as bills, appts etc and then make sure that all of our numbers tally up, and that we won’t have any overspends.

    Always feels so great to enter the new fortnight, knowing that the debt has been paid down a little more, and that we are all organised.

    I really enjoyed reading your budget post and look forward to the rest of the series!

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    • Sara Herrin

      Thank you so much Belinda. I always love reading your comments and the different vocabulary you use than what we use here in he States. 😉
      Sounds like you guys are doing wonderful in the budget department. We budget monthly and I’m always so excited for all of our transactions to post through our bank at the end of the month so I can roll over to next month’s budget. Ha!

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