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How to Set an Effective Weekly Budget
If you are receiving TANF benefits, you may be wondering how a weekly budget can help you stick to a monthly budget or even achieve long-term financial plans.
However, budgets set monthly or in the long term can be difficult to stick to, considering you may underestimate how many small expenses can accumulate in just a week. These variable expenses may include cups of coffee, unforeseen car repairs, etc. For this reason, it is important to have an accurate projection of when your fixed expenses or monthly bills are due. That way, you can plan around these expenses and budget for emergencies.
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Forgetting your monthly bills and their due dates can also give you an inaccurate perception about how much money you have, causing you to overspend. Before creating a weekly budget, you will need to create a budget for the month. This involves dividing your annual net income and taking into account all expenses, both fixed and variable.
Once you create a budget that accurately reflects your finances, you can set aside how much money you have to spend on certain expenses each month while allotting for savings. If you have never created a budget before, there are a variety of resources available online and on smartphone applications that can help. Review the following sections below to learn tips for managing your money by creating a strict budget for the week.
How to Start With a Monthly Budget
You must first create a monthly budget before you can set aside the appropriate amount of money for the week. This involves gathering all financial statements to get an accurate representation of your annual net income and expenses. Keep in mind that your net income is what you make after taxes have been deducted. These documents may include mortgage bills, pay stubs, bank statements and investment accounts that track outside sources of income.
Additionally, you will want to keep track of your store receipts to get a better idea of what your monthly expenses consist of. This includes receipts from your local grocery store, pharmacy store and favorite restaurant. You should also continue to keep receipts once your budget is set to monitor your spending and ensure that you are adhering to your financial goals.
Once you have gathered the appropriate documentation, you will need to define what your fixed and variable expenses are on a monthly budget worksheet.
How to Estimate Your Fixed and Variable Expenses
It is important that you clearly define your variable and fixed expenses when attempting to create a budget. What is a variable expense? This expense can be a variety of costs that are subject to change each month. This may include a gym membership, groceries, dining out, entertainment and clothing.
You may find yourself spending more on entertainment one month than another. While these variable expenses can make or break your budget, they are in your control. You can choose to cut back on dining out and make the smarter choice to spend more on groceries, which is generally cheaper.
Budgeting these expenses also involve determining your financial goals and defining your financial priorities. This will give you more of an incentive to cut back and save for your future. These monthly expenses can be monitored and rearranged monthly to ensure that you are meeting your goals.
On the other hand, your fixed expenses are the costs you have less control over because you need them to maintain yourself. These costs may include your rent, utilities, car payments and auto insurance. Additionally, you may have phone service and health insurance payments that you are obligated to fulfill each month.
The necessary expenses that are not always a fixed amount are your credit card payments and putting money aside for your emergency savings funds. Be aware that there are several government programs you may be eligible for if you need help with certain expenses.
These expenses are often mistakenly neglected because there are no immediate consequences to not making timely payments. Additionally, you have the option of choosing the amount you would like to contribute to these expenses. However, setting a fixed amount for these expenses each month is important in ensuring your financial goals.
For instance, making high, timely payments on your credit card bill will keep you out of debt and improve your credit score so that you can finance a house or car in the future. Furthermore, consistency putting a determined amount each month into your savings account will allow you to achieve your goals without any delays. In the event of an emergency, you do not have to worry about not having enough to pay off your monthly bills.
Tips to Create Your Weekly Budget
Once you have a clear overview of your fixed and variable expenses, you will be able to create a detailed weekly budget. This involves calculating your annual net income in relation to your monthly financial obligations and seeing how much you have left over for expenses that are changeable. Because some months are longer than others, this requires using a unique formula to calculate your budget for the week.
Make sure to create a budget calendar of the due dates of your monthly bills. You should also pay your bills directly after you get paid so you have a better idea of how much money you have left over for your variable expenses. If you get paid at the beginning of the month, make your bill payments early so your bank account accurately reflects the money you can spend.
Additionally, making payments early can improve your credit score and prevent you from forgetting certain bills.
Moreover, it is important to keep in mind that you may spend more on a variable expense one week than another. For example, you may spend more on dining out if you are taking a trip out of town. In this case, you can deduct the money you spent on eating out from next week’s budget and limit spending on dining out for the rest of the month.
Learn How to Monitor and Update Your Weekly Budget as Necessary
After creating your weekly budget, it is important to consistently monitor it and make updates whenever there is a change in income or expenses. Additionally, there are certain life events to take into account that may affect your budget. For example, you may accommodate other variable expenses in your budget during the holiday season for a family ski trip. There are a variety of ways you can keep track of your spending to make sure you do not exceed your budget.
There are apps and websites available that give you a complete overview of your finances, including your bank accounts, loans and financial goals. These third-party services send you push notifications when you are overspending and remind you of upcoming monthly bills. You can also download a weekly budget app that encourage you to save money by tracking the status of your short-term and long-term goals.