Start A Zero Based Budget
Paycheck comes. A week later, you wonder where all your money went. Are you guilty of this? All of us are guilty of not having a system to track our finances. We end up owing money from one institution to the next until we have no one else to turn to for our emergency finance.
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In case you have finally solved your immediate financial problem, don’t forget to start managing your finances properly. Start with a zero-based budget.
Starting A Zero Based Budget
A zero based budget, in its simplest definition, is income less outgo equals zero. For example, if you earn $2000 a month, you want everything you save for, invest for, spend for and give to add up to $2000. Thus, a zero based budget lets you know where all your money is going. With a zero based budget, you will have a sound financial tracking system. Here’s how you start one:
- Grab a piece of paper where you can list all your income streams for the month. You may have a regular job, a part-time job, a business and so on. List down all the income you gain from these sources and then sum it up.
- Then on the other side of the paper, list down everything you spend, save, invest and give and how much you spend for each of them.
- Spend. Items you usually spend on include food, cable, rent, utilities, clothes, car, leisure, fitness and everything in between.
- Save. As to what you save for, this might be an emergency fund, a down payment for a house or a travel fund.
- Invest. You might be investing for your retirement.
- Give. Last and the most important, you definitely should consider the amount you give month as giving is a must in every household. It makes us live with a purpose.
- Tally all these numbers up. If the amount does not equal to your total income, don’t worry. This only means that you have to make adjustments on your budget. Probably, you will have to increase a budget on a certain item or decrease the budget for other items. Whatever you do, never spend more than what you actually budgeted for.
Hope this helps you with your finances so that you will have something to run to in case of emergencies.