Those of you who know me, know all too well, that I've got OCD about organizing and planning. Well, this includes budgeting. As soon as I received an offer for my first full time job I decided that I needed to know how much money I would be making a month and how much it would cost me to live each month. Well, I made a ridiculous spreadsheet which has snow balled and continued as my monthly guide and tracker.
When I "budget" it's not so intense that I set a maximum and can't go over it, but more of a guide so I know how much I should be spending so I can be aware of how much more or less I spend each month.
I definitely take it to the extreme in that I input every receipt or online bank statement and track everything. This isn't really necessary, but it's the best way to ensure accuracy.
All that said, let's keep this CLASSIFIED. There are some things that should be kept to yourselves and some that should be shared with others (i.e. secrets are to be kept, good recipes are to be shared....you get the drift). Well, this is kind of a 'tweener. It's information that should be shared, but a compulsion that shouldn't really be revealed to the public. At the risk of people finding out that I make Monica Geller on Friends look disorganized, spontaneous, and less OCD, I'm releasing this information as "classified." So use it, learn from it, just don't reveal your source. People lose friends over issues smaller than this ;)
First of all, I love my Today Show. This is a short segment (my inspiration) explaining the break down of a budget: Staying on a budget
Summary from the show of your monthly spending:
I've also learned to love Dave Ramsey. He's got great principles for money management, getting out of debt, saving, etc. He writes books, produces materials for church studies, and even has a daily radio show in many areas around the country. Check him out!
Well, with the aforementioned information as my foundation, I developed a budget. I never could do anything half-heartedly, so I made myself a spreadsheet, based on a modification of the economist on the Today Show. It has tabs that provide detailed breakdowns of spending in each category and tabs that add each category's totals together so I can determine when I am under or over budget monthly. I encourage you to make your own, sign up or download a free one online, use Quicken Online, anything, but there is no better time to get organized than at the beginning of the year, especially this year!
Happy Budgeting :D