Need Help with Budgeting? Our West Mobile Tax Service Can Help!
Budgeting does not need to be a daunting task. There are a few basic first steps to take, and we're going to help you figure them out here. At the end of this, if you're still not sure how best to create and plan out your personal or business budget, give us a call. We are a West Mobile tax service and accounting firm and would love to help with your budgeting needs.
Step 1: Write it All Down
The best first step to starting a budget is to put everything to paper. It may seem daunting, but there are some great ways to help you not have to simply remember everything you spend your money on. Get your last bank statement(s) and credit card statement(s) and start going through them. This will help make sure you capture everything you regularly spend money on as well as help make you aware of some of the 'extra' spending you're doing without thinking about it. Don't worry about organizing everything you're writing down, just get it written down. This bill, that bill, this dollar amount on eating out, this dollar amount at grocery stores, etc. Get on paper the total of your spending, in whatever categories make sense to you, 'Walmart' or 'groceries' or 'Starbucks' or 'power bill' or whatever, just get it all down.
Step 2: Sort it Out
Now that you have a big messy list of everything you see you spend money on, let's start breaking these down into categories. Here's a few examples of the kind of categories you should probably have:
And so on...
Try not to create too many categories, you don't want your budget to be too crowded.
Step 3: Put it in Excel
If you aren't familiar with budgeting and how to use Microsoft Excel, get familiar. It is a great program for keeping up with your personal budget and very easy to learn to us. If you need it, here is a great video on creating a budget in Excel that will help.
Step 4: Add Income
Be sure to add in your income at the top of your budget. In Excel you'll setup formulas to deduct the expenses from your income so you can see how much is leftover at the end of the month.
Step 5: Get Honest with Yourself About Budgeting
If the end result isn't good, it's time to get honest with yourself. Budgeting lets you see where you're spending your money, but it is up to you to make the hard choices and change your lifestyle where needed. Rarely is the solution 'making more money'. Typically, the solution is deflating your lifestyle to fit your income.
Need More Help?
If you still can't quite get a budget created, or you can't figure out how to make the numbers work to start climbing out of debt, then maybe it's time to give us a call. Our West Mobile tax service is conveniently located on Schillinger Road. Consultations are free, and we would love to help you. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.