Keys to Budgeting

Most of us know the basics of finance: Don't spend more than you make, credit cards are bad 90% of the time, student loan debt happens, etc. But most of us don't budget like the experts say we should. If you are anything like me then the idea of budgeting sounds dull and unnecessary. I have an online bank account, I can already keep an eye on where my money is going so why do I need to sit down and plan out what I'm going to spend every month?

Well, basically, it's for peace of mind. Knowing your exact financial situation can be terrifying but when it comes time to buy a car (or a house), make student loan payments, or other various adult tasks, you need to know about your money situation. So let's make this easy.

Here are three tips to budget (even if you're a little lazy):

Be realistic
You don't save as much as you say you do and you probably spend WAY more on food than you are willing to admit but now is the time to be honest. You're the only person who needs to see your budget so make sure it's a real one. If you spend fifty dollars on shampoo because it makes you feel better, that's totally fine. Just make sure you take note of that and budget appropriately.

Make saving an expense
When you are planning out your expenses for the month (rent, food, cell phone bill, etc.) factor in money that you plan to save. If you want to save 100 dollars every month then write that in your expenses list, this will make it non-negotiable. Extra credit if you have your paycheck automatically deposit your savings goal without you even having to see it or think about.

Forgive yourself
Everyone messes up sometimes. Maybe there is a concert you desperately want/need a ticket for or you accidentally got sucked into Target and somehow walked out spending way more than you meant to. It's okay. No one can stick to their budgets all of the time and it's okay if you mess up. Just pull yourself up and keep going.