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Household Budget Basics
Relative to how much you’re earning, a budget lets you manage how much you’re spending. You?re able to see how much you’re spending in different categories through budgeting. There are two reasons why having a budget is so important . It helps you live within your means and you are better prepared for changes in the future if you have a budget.
Let us discuss living within your means. In a monthly budget, every dollar of your income should ideally be accounted for. In a way, it is like living paycheck to paycheck, just like it may sound. But it’s in a good way that you are living from paycheck to paycheck. For example, when you list an amount for housing, you should include as rent your utilities as well as your mortgage.?
By investing for retirement and beefing up your emergency fund, you are ?paying yourself?; you can then spend what’s left over after you pay your bills – which include any debts you might be carrying. Having a budget that you regularly reassess shows you how close you are to meeting your goals and helps you take stock of where your money is going.
Budgeting for Your Future
You will see how useful it can be to prepare you for the future once you have a workable budget. You’ll have retirement savings and an emergency fund. If necessary, you will also be flexibly able to make room in your budget. Say you know you’re spending a large amount of money on clothes, travel, or eating out. Go for it If that’s within your budget, you’ve paid your bills and you’ve paid yourself.
What would happen now if something were to change down the road? Say you want to move to a city with a higher cost of living or want to take a dream job that pays less than you’re currently making. You can tell what you reasonably need to trim but just taking a look at your budget. If it enables you to reach another goal, then maybe you’re willing to cut back on some non-essential spending. If you don’t have one at all, you won’t have any idea how much you can afford to trim from your budget.
To get started, making a zero-based budget is one popular strategy that individuals and businesses can use. Everything is on the table and you should have nothing left over with a zero-based budget. What you spend in a month is what you need to start keeping track of. How much money you are bringing home each month, or your monthly income, is what you must keep track of.
Are your expenses or expenditures exceeding what you are earning? Your expenses must be trimmed by you. Are you spending less than what you earn? You could afford to devote more time to investing and savings.
Some hardcore budget devotees will make a new spending plan each month because expenses vary from month to month. For example, you could budget for travel in the summer and for gifts in December. Others average the cost of travel and all gifts for the year and divide it by the 12 months of the year.
You will likely want to include in your budget the major expense categories below:
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Monthly Income Source
Net Monthly Salary
Net Spouse Salary
Total Monthly Income
Water / Sewage
Monthly Revolving Debts
Other Secured Debt
Monthly Household Expenses
Car Payment (S)
Alimoni / Child Support
Dry Cleaning / Laundry
Mobile Phone (S)
Car Expense / Maintainance
Grocery / Food
Life Insurance (S)
Monthly Profit & Loss
Monthly Profit and Loss
Life Insurance Cash Value
Primary Residency Mortgage (S)
Automobile (S) Loan (S)
Other Debt (S)
Second Home Mortgage (S)
Credit Card (S)
If applicable, your budget will need to accommodate the fact that you have a bundle of joy (or several) depending on you. Your individual circumstances dictate your childcare costs. Are you paying someone to be your children’s caregiver or is your partner or a relative staying home with your kids? Are you opting for private or public school? For someone like you in your area, you are shown the average child care expenditure by our Start New Financial budget calculator.
The rise of medical costs in our country is well known. A year probably doesn?t go by without you incurring some form of medical expense, whether you cover your health insurance premiums on your own or your employer helps cover that expense. Your budget can be substantially eaten into by your meeting even a relatively low deductible. Planning a certain amount of medical expenses into your budget is always a good idea because of this.
30.2% of the median American income is what the median American rent is currently equal to. That means that millions are on the verge of being rent-burdened or are already rent-burdened because they spend more than 30% of their income on rent. The budget breakdown of people like you who live where you live is what Start New Financial?s budget calculator shows you. You know that your neighbors are struggling to keep up with housing costs if that percentage is over 30%. Your housing costs will include your home repairs and mortgage, too, if you’re a homeowner.
The share of the average Americans’ income earmarked for food is down from 17.5% in 1960 to around 10% now, according to the USDA. Compared to people in other developed countries, we also spend less on food.?
It may seem like we’ve become more food-obsessed by the popularity of the term “foodie”, the Food Network, and food pictures on social media, yet in actuality Americans are spending a smaller portion of each paycheck on food items. More of that money on food is being spent by us outside the home, such as in restaurants, which we all know takes a toll on our budget.
Public transportation is used by 5% of Americans to commute to work. Most of the rest of us take a car to go to work, but a few of us are able to bike or walk to work. Transportation includes not just your car payments but repairs, insurance, gas, and registration as well. You may also have to pay for parking and tolls, depending on where you live. Since it’s so closely related to job security, transportation is a budget pain point for many Americans. Your job position is less secure when you likely can’t be a reliable employee if you have an unreliable car. One of the main reasons why it’s so important to keep an emergency fund in place is the unexpected medical and car expenses that may arise at any moment. With sufficient cash to carry you through hard times, you should create an emergency fund that helps you prepare for the unexpected. Enough money to pay your bills for three to six months is what your emergency fund should contain. Until your emergency fund is large enough to serve as a safety net, you should contribute small amounts monthly to it as a budget item.
Even the most frugal among us spend money on some miscellaneous items. The bare bones expenses in this category include toothpaste and soap, clothes, laundry and school supplies for kids. If you have more wiggle room in your budget you can allocate funds to other expenses, like entertainment and gifts, travel or meals out.
You can figure out how much you should be saving for retirement each month with the help of Start New Financial?s retirement calculator. The Start New Financial budget calculator also tells you how the average person like you in your neighborhood is saving. Do not stop now if you’re saving a higher percentage than your local peers. The rates of American savings are notoriously low. Our savings calculator shows you how your savings will grow and allows you to see how the interest rate of your accounts will impact that.
Taxes limit the size of your budget because they eat into your take-home pay. Your taxes are likely withheld from each paycheck if you’re a regular employee. It can actually make it easier for you to budget even though it may seem like a bummer. So that you don’t get a huge bill at tax time that you’re not prepared to pay, it’s important to budget for your tax payments each month if you’re a contractor or freelancer.
When you stick to a financially healthy budget and follow it religiously, you are surprised by how elastic your money can be, where you?re able to stretch it to buy things you had thought would have to wait until someday when you were debt-free.
Having a budget plan and budget is so important because they give you the best picture of your finances and serve as a constant reminder of what you can and cannot do, what you should and shouldn?t do, etc. You never see someone who religiously sticks to a sound, financially healthy budget having a disastrous financial life or being overwhelmed by unmanageable debt and money problems.
A budget plan is like the ?parent? and you are its ?child?; it tells you everything about your money and assets, and sets the rules of what you can and cannot do and what you must do responsibly. It tells you how much you can squeeze, stretch, and milk, so that you won?t go overboard. The ?orphan? without a budget plan to guide her/him and set the rules tends to go overboard, thus leading to money problems and to the thinking that they have to borrow.
A budget plan ensures that you don?t overspend. It also allows you to identify bad habits, bad spending habits. If you?re married and have a family, they obviously must be included in your budget. You must sit down with your spouse and make the budget plan together. People who follow a healthy budget are better prepared for emergencies and for retirement. Their retirement is a happier, less worrisome one. Haven?t you noticed that the bulk of worries in life tend to have a connection to money, to be money/finances-related?
People so often fall for the temptation of recklessly overspending even when they know it?s not good for their pocket, and even when they?ve made a budget plan. They just don?t follow it, like smokers who already know smoking is so bad for their health just do it anyway. A budget points your focus/money towards the things that are most important to you.
It lets you keep track to make sure you are reaching your goals, whether it?s saving up to buy property or open up a business, or getting out of debt. It is such a great inspiring feeling to watch your financial goals at least come within reach.
You must take a hard look at your income and your expenses in order to make a budget that ultimately works for you. You are forced to reevaluate your priorities and goals when you create a budget. You aren’t likely to do them if you aren’t saving money for the things you plan to do. By doing all the math for you, you get a boost toward getting this done with Start New Financial?s Free Budget Calculator.
For anyone who wants that kind of detailed insight, a budget calculator is a great reference. You must take a hard look at your income and your expenses in order to make a budget that ultimately works for you.
Must your spending be cut back? Do you need a side hustle to earn some supplemental income? The trade-offs you’re willing to make and your priorities are what will determine the way you allocate your money. Just remember to pay yourself and to pay your bills. A 401(k) will not fund itself!
It just got easier to create a budget, thanks to Start New Financial?s free budget calculator! Use our online budget calculator on our website below and take control of all your spending.
In all of the fields that apply to you, enter estimated amounts. Round up to the nearest dollar and don’t use commas. No less than 3 months of your total expense is what your targeted emergency fund goal should be. Estimates based on the information you enter is only what our calculator can provide. Input all your household details and you?ll see the average budget of a person in your neighborhood.
Start New Financial won?t allow for you to be having to eat ramen at the end of every month
As you adjust your categories to find the amounts that work for your particular situation, the first few months of budgeting are a bit more difficult. Start New Financial helps you simplify your budgeting process. Call us TODAY!
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