And we’re back! #FinancialFitness2018

#FinancialFitness2018 continues this week with the second half of budgeting. If you’d like to follow along and create your budget with me, it’s not too late. Email me at Katelyn@HansensAdvisory.com and I’ll send you the budget spreadsheet I’m using.

#Budget Step Three: Adding Up Your Expenses

In the interest of full disclosure, this is the part of creating a budget that I like the least. I don’t like to dig in to the details of my spending because for whatever reason I find it stressful. My method of budgeting was essentially to spend the least amount possible, and it worked for me. I was mocked my frugality, but I never accumulated any credit card debt, I always lived within my means, and I built up a savings account. Not too shabby.

But, unfortunately, that “method” isn’t working anymore. My income is variable, and my expenses are more complicated. Being a single mom with two daughters, it is getting increasingly difficult to keep track of where my money is being spent. When I’m trying to decide between taking the girls out to dinner, or eating at home, I need to have a sense of where I am financially. Hence the creation of the budget!

So how do you figure out how much money you’re spending? A lot of it is easy to add up, because it stays the same every month, like your mortgage or rent, car payment, etc. Some of your expenses will be variable, like what you spend on groceries, eating at restaurants, or gas. For those items, you’ll want to look at the last 3 – 6 months of your bank statements or credit card statements, and get an average. You don’t need to spend a ton of time calculating it to the last dollar, but be honest with yourself about how much you really are spending at Target on a weekly basis. If you are someone that uses a lot of cash, you’ll need to start tracking that as you go forward. Even $5.00. (There are apps for this that I’ll be reviewing later this week)

You’ll also want to be mindful of IRA or 401(k) contributions, and what you pay in taxes. Remember, we started with gross income, so these items haven’t been accounted for yet, even though they come out of your paycheck before you even see it. What you’re contributing for your retirement will be an important figure later in #FinancialFitness2018, when we talk about Financial Planning.

Guys, I know this isn’t necessarily the fun part, but what is on the other side of this IS the fun part! We already know how much we make, and now we’re figuring out how much we’re spending. The next step? Figure out what we save, and how to save more! And when we save money, we get to buy bigger and better things in the future. Like perhaps a trip to Budapest, which I mentioned in one of my earlier posts. I’m pretty sure that still only applies to me, but to each their own.

Thanks for getting Financially Fit with me! Email me or tweet me @Katelyn_Kriesel with any questions or ideas!

#GetFit #GetFinanciallyFit

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