Latinas, you need a budget

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The first piece of financial advice I give anyone in passing is about budgets. Specifically, how YOU need one.  Still not sure why you exactly need a budget? Let’s go over all the reasons you need one, stat! After I convince why you need a budget, which is basically a plan addressing every dollar of your hard earned income to work for you, we can go into the next steps of how to make one.

  • You need to be able to see where your money is going. Better yet, you can tell your money where to go. Are you one of the millions of people who doesn’t know where your money goes day in and day out? I used to be like and sometimes, I still am like that. But after years of tracking my finances, I can easily tell you where my money goes now, Starbucks and Target! But without having a budget, or tracking my finances, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you that. And I bet you five dollars you are probably spending way too much on fast food.
  • You can finally set and reach those financial goals you’ve been dreaming about. Dream about going back to school, buying a new home or owning a new car? A budget can help you track your spending AND saving. You can save for numerous things and buy them in cash, which leads to number three.
  • A budget helps create a life without debt. Not only will you be able to see how much money you can save and spend, budgets allow you to see where you can cut your spending to get out of debt in a hurry. You can also save towards items you might have put on your credit card before and now purchase them, debt free!
  • Not only can you save for retirement, you can save for emergencies too. After establishing a monthly budget, you can regularly contribute to accounts with money your now saving for retirement and emergencies. If you have a budget established and have decided that you still can’t comfortably save for either, it’s time to see what we can cut out or how we can make more money. I’m a personal fan of both but you can always make more money.

These are only some, but not all, of the reasons why you need a budget. Next week, we’ll dive more into budgeting in our new series called, “Budget Basics.”

Do you have a budget? Why or why not?

 

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3 Comments

  1. Awesome tips. I learned in college that I can’t spend superfluously. Setting a budget is necessary so I can track my spending. :] // itsCarmen.com ☼ ☯

  2. Yes, I’ve had one ever since I got my first allowance of $2, LOL! I was so proud when I’d save $1 for Christmas & $1 for spending haha. I loved being able to buy gifts for mom & dad at the end of the year. Funny the things that are important to a grade schooler. I also remember developing another budget when I got my first job at 16 at the movie theater.

    This past January (I’m now 27, 28 next month) I redid my whole budgeting system. Many people think it’s too complex, but it works for me & that’s all that matters. I created a custom Excel spreadsheet with my whole month’s budget. I then copy that tab in Excel and create 2 sub budgets for each payday that month. It’s pretty simple, I just delete what it’s due for the 15th or 31st payday.. only takes a few minutes. The reason I create a “new” budget every payday is amounts due differ (July electric vs October electric is vastly different), sometimes there’s a one-time bill, etc. Also, I can plan ahead if I need to save some money for the following payday. Every payday, I pay all my bills and check them off my spreadsheet. Then every few days I log back into my bank account to check how much money I have left. I HAVE to do this because my budget is so tight and I could end up overspending & causing overdrafts.

    Something else that has helped me a lot is budgeting for those variable bills, like the hair salon, oil changes, vet visits, Christmas, etc. Bills that don’t come due every month, but when they do you’re like “Shoot! I need $40 for an oil change.” I know I get my oil changed every 4 months or so, so I budget a little out every payday and set it aside in my cash wallet.

    Like I said, it might sound intense but it gives me a very clear visual where I stand financially.

    What type of budgeting system do you use?

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