There’s one thing that they don’t teach in school and that’s budgeting. As an adult, we need to learn how to do so so that we can have the dream items we wish to have! Here are 8 budgeting tips to use as an adult.
1. Start by making an excel sheet
If you don’t know how to use an excel sheet on your computer, we highly recommend you to learn how. It’s very easy to do, and we promise it will make your life way easier. You can either use excel on your computer if you bought it, or Google has a free excel spreadsheet, called Google sheets. This is where you will be able to see where and how you spend your money. You want to create it based on the inflow and outflow of your income.
First, you should start by making a column of jobs you have and how much money comes in each month. Then you should make another column for all the items you need to pay first. For example, rent, electricity, insurance. You want to pay all of those first before you spend any money on things that are not a necessity such as going to the movies or buying that new top. Check out Renee Amber’s Youtube channel to have more detail on how to budget using an excel spreadsheet.
Being an adult means being responsible for your life. Budgeting is one of them. Percentages help you regulate how to much you need to spend here and there. To make things a little easier we have percentages for you so you know exactly how much you should spend and how much to save. To start off 50% of your income should be spent on essentials. This includes anything from your groceries, rent, electricity, etc. Now if you don’t need to spend 50% on necessities fully, you should still not spend that amount of money, either save it for the next month’s dues or put it in your savings account.
20% of your income should be put into savings. Now, 20% is the minimum. You can always put more into your savings. Sometimes it’s even better to put money aside especially because you never know when you will need it. Saving money also gives you the confidence and piece you wish to have. If you are saving for a car, can you imagine how amazing it will be when you are able to take out that money you saved to buy it? Take the time to save, because your future self will for sure thank you.
30% or less should be for fun activities. There should always be some fun with your money. Work and no play just get repetitive and sad. You don’t need to always spend 30% to have a good time with friends and family, but every once and a while it may be good to do. If you don’t spend all of the 30%, put the rest in your savings!
3. Take out the cash
A very “adult” thing to do, is to regulate the amount of money spend on pleasure. There are many ways you can do so, but one being, in particular, is by first seeing how much money is for necessities and for savings, and then take out cash for the 30% of pleasure. The reason this works extremely well is that you know exactly how much cash you have left for fun. You know when you will run out and will never go over the amount you wanted to spend. When it’s out, it’s out. You will save so much by doing so.
Mint is a great free adult app to use. It’s amazing if you want to start tracking your spending but don’t feel like making an excel sheet in detail to do so. Mint links up with your bank account and helps you realize what you are spending your money on. You can make financial goals as well, and it will remind you how close you are to those goals. It looks at balances, bills, credits scores, and more all in one place. It even makes recommendations and saving tips based on your lifestyle and goals!
5. Analyze where you are spending your money
No matter if you are using Mint or your excel spreadsheet, it’s important to take a look at where your money is actually heading to. You may realize quickly that you really love having a Starbucks coffee, every single morning. If you have a tall coffee every day for 30 days, you are spending close to $100 EVERY MONTH just on coffee!! In a year you would be spending $1,186.25 on coffee. That’s crazy! You could save that money for something way more important! By noticing your spending habits you could instead decide to save money on coffee by, buying your own coffee maker for home!
Having good credit is something many of know is important, but actually knowing how it works is when being an adult becomes reality. Credit cards are important to have because they help you get the things that you want now.
For example a car loan, or a credit card. The ability to get one means you can promise to pay the amount later. There are 2 common types of loans and that is installments which are loans such as student and auto loans. Then we have revolving loans that are for receiving a credit you can keep using after paying it off. You must remember that not all credit cards are the same. You should figure out the pros and cons and then base your decision on that.
7. No credit
If you don’t have credit at all, don’t panic. The most important thing to do is to start learning. This can be from family, friends, or your bank. Learning about credit will help you feel confident when you are able to get a credit card in the first place.
8. Budget monthly
As an adult, we have many different responsibilities, and many times they change at least monthly. There will be things that will happen in the lives that we can’t always control. You will sometimes need to take out more to survive. The best advice is to always keep track of what you spend. Write down what you have spent no matter if it’s with an app, in your iPhone notes, excel, anywhere.
Writing down where your money is going will give you the awareness that is needed. Have a set date every month where you reanalyze everything, and budget again. Somethings won’t change but depending on your life somethings will.