Raise of hands who have already forgotten their New Year’s resolution, or feeL like January and February are just trial months? Just me? Ok…moving on.

At the beginning of the year I shared my New Year’s resolution (read here) and I chose the word balance. I wanted to get back on track with work/life balance and getting in the groove of adulthood. So far it’s been going good, but one thing I’ve been trying to do is follow a strict budget, however, I had to do a lot of research! If you’re anything like me, figuring out how to set a budget can be a confusing and daunting task.

I’ve always been the person to mentally keep track of my bank account, knowing what I need to spend money on, how much I can splurge, etc. But doing my research helped me realize that creating a budget is easy as long as I understand everything that goes into setting a budget. After all my research I now feel prepared to create a realistic budget for this year and share my new knowledge with you all! Below you will find 5 easy steps to help you set a budget for 2018! I hope you enjoy and learn something new; I know I learned a lot! xo

Know Your Income

This seems simple enough, however, your income is completely different from your salary. Every month your income is your salary minus taxes, and what you are setting aside for savings or your retirement. You need to know how much you are actually earning before you start setting a budget.

Figure Out Your Fixed Expenses

Your fixed expenses are rent, transportation costs, and other expenses that you don’t have control over. Once you figure out your fixed expenses you can…

Figure Out Your Fluctuating Expenses

Your fluctuating expenses include groceries, shopping, and entertainment. Tips for fluctuating expenses are making a grocery list, eating at home, and do alternate activities that cost less.

Prioritized

When trying to set a budget you must prioritize. Go through all those fluctuating expenses and cut what really isn’t necessary. Do you really need that iced latte every morning, or can you cut back to only special occasions. A couple expenses I always try and cut back on, or limit are cabs, ubers, restaurants or too many happy hours. There are so many cheaper alternatives to these expenses, so I make sure I set a “fun” budget each month so I stay in check.

Keep Track

Keep track of what you’re spending either through online banking, an excel spreadsheet or an app like Mint. After a few months you’ll start to see the trends in your spending and you’ll make slight changes to your budget.

While this is all still very new to me—do you have any budget tips or tricks? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

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