When I think of budgeting I immediately tense up. I’m terrible at math for starters. I’ve never managed my money (not really anyhow) so I’m completely ignorant on that front too. But, I’m sick of being frustrated about my money woos so I’m choosing to get it right.
In deciding to get my finances in order, I’ve learned to quit financing things and cut up the credit cards, to establish an emergency fund and to start a debt snowball.
Learning these basics, I needed to figure out how to make a budget. I sought out a game plan for my money. Writing it all down on paper and on purpose is important.
The zero based budget is what I’ve discovered to be my next steps in my debt eradication. This is how I will spend my money from now on… with a plan, on a budget.
The zero based budget is exactly what it sounds like. It is creating a plan where you end up with zero dollars unaccounted for. Every penny has it’s place.
I’ll be using Dave Ramsey’s budgeting forms to help me (they’re free). Down the road, I will be looking into a simple budgeting tool online at Pear Budget (they have a 30 day free trial then it’s $3 every month) if it proves to be any easier.
Plan on three to four months to get the budgeting process down
I can ease into it and know that if it’s not working 100% right away, I need to give it a little time.
Spend every dime on paper before the month begins
- Over-fund the grocery category to start with.
- Try the Quickie Budget Sheet for some help.
If you have a fluctuating income each month like me, determine the lowest possible income and make a plan based on those numbers. Then prioritize a list of everything you excluded based on the lowest income. Ask yourself what is the one thing I’d do first if the money was available. Simply start at the top of your list with the extra income.
Next, I’ll be implementing the envelope system. You can read a little about it here.