What is a budget?

A budget is an itemized list of income and expenses within a set period of time. It can be used as a personal guide of what money you have coming in and where you spend it. Because a budget shows the ebb and flow of your money, it can also help inform changes you would like to make to your spending habits in order to meet financial goals.

Basic principles of budgeting:

  • develop your financial goals
  • calculate your income
  • calculate your expenses
  • analyze your income and expenses against your financial goals to make spending decisions

Choose a budget management method

There are many options to manage a budget. It is all about finding a manageable option for you. The important part is to start using one. You can always change your approach later. 

  • If you like using spreadsheets, try this template and see how it works for you.
  • If you prefer using an app, try Mint or something similar to get you started!