Everything you need to know about creating, maintaining, and updating your budget, including how the process works. Learn how to make wise financial choices and avoid common budgeting mistakes.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do I make a budget?

    Start by calculating your take-home pay. You'll need to know how much money is coming in, and then you need to start tracking and categorizing your expenses. What are your fixed costs such as mortgage payments? What are your variable expenses such as food? Now you can start developing short and long-term goals.

  • Why do I need a budget?

    A budget can put you on a stronger financial footing in your day-to-day life and for achieving your long-term goals. By categorizing and tracking expenses you may find it easier to pay bills on time, build an emergency fund, and save for major expenses such as a car or home.

  • How much should I budget for food?

    It varies based on how many people you're feeding. If you follow the 50/30/20 budget plan, you should spend no more than 50% of your budget on things you need for survival such as groceries, utilities, and housing costs. For food, specifically, the USDA has some guidelines for thrifty, low cost, moderate cost, and liberal spending that are worth examining.

  • Do I need a budgeting app?

    Budgeting apps can be very helpful for tracking your spending, but they are not for everyone. They can be great for tech-savvy people who make most of their purchases using a debit or credit card. But if you usually use cash, you may find entering your expenses manually to be tedious and unnecessary. For those folks, consider the envelope system.

Key Terms

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