Categories: Education

How to Make a Monthly Budget – The Ultimate Personal Budgeting Course

The principles of how to make a monthly budget, how to make a bi-weekly budget, and how to budget in general are all the same. The major difference is just the cadence in which you build your budget template to support. As you study personal budgeting and take any personal budgeting courses, be sure that you take what is said and apply it to your own personal financial situation.

I teach a personal budgeting course that walks people that want to learn how to budget and create their own budget templates through it step by step. I am going to take a moment here to summarize the key points that even someone that doesn’t take the course should take into their own personal financial management.

  • Remember the reality of the life you are budgeting – What I mean by this is that when you are plugging numbers into a spreadsheet and allocating amounts of money to things like groceries, housing, and utilities, always remember that life is real. I promise you; this is easier said than done. One of the main issues I run into when I am budgeting for others is that they want something on paper that can’t happen in real life. A common thing I see, is wanting to save 10-15% of their income, but they don’t make enough money to afford rent in the area that they live in. Having hard fast rules such as “Pay yourself first” or “Only $50 a week for groceries” shouldn’t be the rule but should be set as goals if that is what you want. Live your life first, and don’t suffer to fit into a budget. I promise your budget will break if you live like that.
  • Don’t let anyone tell you what tool to use to budget with – Often, I see people get frustrated because they are told that they need to pay for an app to successfully budget. Guess what? You can budget without paying a monthly fee. On the flip side, I see people say, you need to create a template in a spreadsheet for yourself, and people get overwhelmed trying to manage that, maybe that person would rather pay for a tool. Don’t let either side convince you that there is only one way to budget. There are many ways to make a personal budget.
  • Use tools, courses, and resources as guides not maps – If you take a budgeting course like the one I teach at BudgetWithQuincy.com then you should learn everything you can and apply it in ways that make sense to you. Don’t like a certain topic or method? Throw it out! Don’t hold on to it just because you heard it was a good thing. Again, I will say, there are many ways on how to make a monthly budget. Learn all the methods and ideas so that you can create your very own personal budgeting method that you agree with.
  • Don’t Beat Yourself Up Over It – First rule of thumb here… Don’t go kicking yourself when you don’t sit down at your budget one month. Budgeting is all about the long game. Some people think that if you don’t track in real-time, that you aren’t getting results, but that just isn’t true. What you spent two or three months ago can tell you how to act now. When you forget to update for a month (or a few when it gets really hard) just go back and fill them in. You will feel like you did something amazing when you close that gap! Don’t let the gap haunt you.
  • Personal Finance Classes Create Accountability – Yes, of course, I am going to recommend my Personal Finance Classes to you. They are online, you can take them anytime, but when you feel stuck or don’t want to budget, go and review a topic you enjoy or learn something you don’t know. If it is getting really tough to go and update your budget, reach out to me and let’s chat about it. When someone cares about you and your budget it really helps. The thing is, I created all of this because I do care about you and your personal finances.

Even though I teach a personal budgeting course with my very own methods of creating a budget, I do try my best to introduce other concepts that I don’t personally use but have found interesting. I am constantly studying other budget methods to make sure that I still feel that the things I teach are the most relevant. I often find gems that I hadn’t heard much about and find ways to plug them into what I am already doing.

When you pick up budgeting, you don’t have to change everything each time you learn about something new. You can use a form of evolution and change small pieces of what you are doing to fit the new methods that you have found. I have never found anything that made me realize I was completely wrong and needed to completely turn around from everything I was doing. But I have taken a few sharp turns in my time budgeting for myself.

The last thing I will say is that if you aren’t budgeting, there is never a better time to start than now. Don’t flip your life upside down to add budgeting into your personal financial management, but add in concepts and tracking that can maximize what you are doing and help you move from pay period to pay period knowing that you are moving forward and achieving financial goals that you have. The amount of peace I feel knowing when I start each month that I will have enough money to do everything I have planned to do is satisfying. When you start to get better at creating a plan, you will start to find extra in your plan and begin to deploy your money to go and work for you, and that is when personal budgeting turns your personal management into a journey to achieve financial freedom through passive income.

Brian

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