What is actual budgeting? Budgeting in its simplest form, consists of tracking your financial transactions to see where your money is going. When we say our money, we mean our cash, checks, savings, investments, etc. How do we know what is the actual budgets then? Simply put, when you track your financial transactions, you will see what is really going on. You are then able to pinpoint areas where your money is being wasted and cut back or eliminate them completely.
Some people think that what is actual budgeting is tracking every single penny of their money. This is actually not the case. Yes, you will indeed be spending a great deal of time tracking and recording what goes in and what goes out, but you are also budgeting in other areas. The most common places where budgeting gets crossed off of the list when it comes to actual budgeting are for entertainment and pleasure. Entertainment and recreation are definitely important aspects of life, but they should never be budgeted as such.
If you are someone who watches the television a lot, for example, this can be considered entertainment and recreation. However, if that same individual were to list all of their expenses for the week, they would realize that not only did they have to spend money on their television, but they spent money on food, drinks, clothes, entertainment, lunches out, movies, etc. The more categories of spending that get budgeted for, the more one realizes just how important it is to stay on top of one’s budget. If you only watch your television when it’s on, you may not realize how important it is to cut back on the movies and lunch out because you spent so much money on them that week. Even when it comes to your entertainment budget, it is imperative to keep your checkbook balanced and to not let any of your categories get out of control.
Many people want to know what is actual budgeting because it allows them to see where their money is actually going. In order to stay on top of your budget, it’s important to set up a monthly budget that you can stick to. When setting up a budget, it’s important to make sure that the money that is coming in goes directly into the bank account. If there is a balance due at the end of the month, then the money that didn’t come in can either be refunded to the checking account or put into the savings. This is a great way to stay on top of one’s budget, and if an emergency occurs (such as a car break down that requires repairs), you will always have some money saved for when emergencies arise.
One thing that many individuals don’t think about when it comes to what is actual budgeting is impulse buying. This can be a great way to save money, especially when it comes to purchasing things that you might not normally purchase and have a little extra money stashed away for emergencies. It’s also important to remember that by over budgeting you will also be burning through your funds. You want to set a budget and stick to it, even if it means having to cut back on certain activities that you might otherwise enjoy.
Another important factor of what is actual budgeting is being realistic. Many individuals want to have a very extravagant lifestyle and while this may be financially viable, it may not be fiscally realistic for some people. Always keep in mind what your income is, your debts, and your savings and this will help you see where you are spending too much money.
Some people believe that what is actual budgeting is making random choices without thinking. While this can sometimes be a good thing, most of the time it’s a bad idea to simply go out and buy whatever it is that you want to. The best thing to do is sit down with a piece of paper and list all of the different things that you would like to purchase. This way you can eliminate impulse purchases and you will spend your money more wisely.
Most important thing of what is actual budgeting is that it requires you to actually pay attention to your finances. This is not something that you should do lightly and you should try to put aside at least a couple of hours each week for budgeting. If you try to do this on your own then you will probably get so overwhelmed that it will actually end up destroying your finances instead of saving them. Make sure that you are using a reputable budget planner to help you create a budget and stick to it!