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Adulting 101: Get Your Money Right

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    • Adulting 101: Get Your Money Right

      Budgeting is about investing in yourself, setting goals, and assessing your needs and wants.

      Whether you’ve been taught about healthy financial management from an early age, or are just now teaching yourself, you can achieve budgeting success! You’ll learn quickly that a little discipline and intentional spending goes a long way.

      It’s helpful to think of budgeting as goal-setting, and you can begin creating a budget with these steps:

       

        1. Track your income and expenses. Get clear about how much money you bring in, how much you spend, and what’s left at the end of each month. Budgeting is effective whether your income is fixed (consistent pay from particular source/s, like an allowance or a full-time job) or variable (from events that occur irregularly, like birthdays and holidays, or a part-time job).
        2. Categorize and track your spending. Common categories include bills, eating out/groceries, entertainment/leisure, beauty/hygiene, etc. Which expenses are consistent each month, and which ones can be cut down or eliminated? Consider utilizing an app to track spending, keeping a spending journal, or creating categorized spending envelopes.
        3. Assess your needs and your wants. This includes thinking about your short and long term goals. Are you saving for something in particular? While you may not be thinking as far ahead as retirement, perhaps you’re dreaming of getting your own apartment after graduation, becoming a homeowner before the age of 30, or traveling overseas for your twenty-first birthday. Budgeting with a specific goal in mind can produce positive results in other aspects of your financial life.

      It’s common to feel like you’re mastering your budget sometimes, and completely failing other times. Be patient with yourself, but honest enough to reflect on what’s at stake if you don’t meet your budgeting goals this month. Don’t give up, and incorporate what you learn into next month’s plan for success. You’ll thank yourself later! 

       

      RESOURCES

      Mint and Wally are top-rated free apps that help with budgets and spending. 

      The Fempreneur demonstrates the envelope system for cash budgeting on a modest income.

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What have been the most challenging aspects of budgeting? The least? Are you budgeting for short or long-term goals, or mainly to get a hold of your spending?

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