Budgeting 101: A Guide to Keeping Track of Your Finances

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Do you ever get to the end of the month and wonder what’s happened to all of your money? You can’t remember what you spent it on or how much was actually spent. You need to have a plan with your money – that’s where budgeting comes in. It can help you figure out what you should be spending each month and will then prompt you to keep track of your spending habits. It can seem a little overwhelming at first, but there are a few simple steps you can take to get your budget up and running. Then, all you need to do is stick to it.

Why budget?

It’s necessary. “They’re the only practical way to get a grip on your spending — and to make sure your money is being used the way you want it to be used,” writes CNN Money.

Small purchases that don’t seem like much (think about your daily Starbucks run) can absolutely add up over time. By coming up with a budget, you can start to track your expenses and know when you’ve used up your coffee money for the month. Often it’ll encourage you to find cheaper alternatives to some of these expenses, such as making your coffee at home or only visiting Starbucks once a week.

Budgeting will allow you to know where your money is coming from, how much is there, and where it’s all going.

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Yahoo Finance, Harvard Business Review, Market Watch, The Wall St. Journal, Financial Times, CNN Money, Fox Business