How to budget like an adult
Written by: Kassie Thomson, Branch Manager, Souris and Rivers Branch
Budgeting is hard, especially if you’re budgeting for the first time. However, having a budget gives you the structure you need to accomplish long term goals and most importantly, save money!
Know why you are budgeting.
If you’re creating a budget without a concrete plan in place, you might not get very far. It’s a good idea to establish why you need a budget in the first place. To do this, start with establishing your main long term goals.
See below for some common goals that might apply to you after completing Post-Secondary Education:
- Paying off student debt & accumulated expenses
- Purchasing your first home
- Purchasing a vehicle
Know how much you actually make.
Step one of budgeting is knowing the exact amount of income you take home every month. Gather your pay stubs and bank statements to get a sense of what this number will be. Other sources of income include child support, government benefits, investments, etc. Don’t forget to factor in the taxes deducted from your paycheque!
Budgeting is a slow and steady journey towards financial success. Having lofty goals right off the bat is not always the best approach when you’re just starting out. In addition to budgeting for your goals, you also have to budget for FUN! Make sure you set aside a healthy budget for entertainment and hobbies so you don’t feel deprived of fun and enjoying your new adult life.
Save, Save, Save!
One of the key elements of a budget is having a healthy amount of money go towards your savings. In a perfect world, contributing money to emergency savings and regular savings account is ideal but not always realistic. Start small by setting aside at least 10% of your income towards savings.
If you have some extra money in your budget, it’s a good idea to consider putting in into an emergency savings account. This fund can keep you on track if unexpected expenses arise that require immediate financial attention.
Don’t Be Afraid to Adjust and Edit your Budget.
Once you dive into budgeting and learn how to balance your income, you may find there are areas that are just not working. Don’t panic and don’t abandon your budget! Having road bumps when it comes to finances is completely normal and does not mean your budget was a failure. Take these road bumps and evolve your budget. Make adjustments so that you stay on track.
Creating an adult budget is hard, use the tips above to help you get started and you will be on your way to accomplishing your financial goals in no time.
Are you ready to Adult? Let’s get started, download our Adult Budgeting Spreadsheet.
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