One thing I will admit to anyone who asks is that I’m not great with money. Sure, I have a little in my savings account right now, but that wasn’t always the case.
Take this past fall for example; in September alone I spent almost $600. Looking at that bank statement broke me to tears. How in the WORLD had I spent that much money? What could I possibly have spent it on? The answer: complete and utter nonsense.
Having a budget is a great way to keep yourself from wasting money and makes you feel a little guilty when you do. Through a lot of trial and error, I've created a simple way to chart my spending and even save some of the money I’m making.
Here’s how it works
Start by looking at your bank statement from the last month. Categorize your spending and write down how much money you spent in each category.
Create as many or as little categories as you want, don’t be afraid to be specific. Don’t forget to include any money you receive from your parents, working a job or taking out of your savings. I suggest making a chart that looks something like this:
- Gas: $30
- Groceries: $50
- Going Out: $25
- Takeout: $15
- Coffee: $10
- Necessities (books, utilities etc.): $100
- Total money spent $230
- Total money received $250
Total money made: $250
Taking into account the money you’ve spent in these categories in the past, set a dollar limit that you’ll allow yourself to spend in each category. For example, if you spent $50 on groceries, it’s probably a good idea to give yourself a little cushion, so set your limit to $70.
At the end of the time period, your chart should look something like this:
- Gas: $15/$30
- Groceries: $70/$60
- Going Out: $10/$15
- Takeout: $5/$15
- Necessities: $100/$100
- Total money made $250
- Total money spent $200
- Total money leftover $75
— Danielle Backowski, senior mass communications major #HuskyLife