Money is a part of our daily life. What we wear, what we eat, where we live and the fun things we do are only a few money related decisions we make, says Mary Lou Odle, a county Extension agent.
For some people, having a million dollars wouldn’t be enough to satisfy their wants. Millions of other people pay their bills, save for the future and live within their income. Managing money takes time and effort.
The way you spend or save money helps determine what you have and whether you can pay your bills in six months, a year, or many years to come. If you spend your money as fast as it comes in and unplanned expenses happen debt may occur.
Do you have control over how you spend money? Can you live within your income pay monthly expenses and put money into savings?
Budgeting gets the most out of your dollars. It is not just about saving money or being a tightwad or doing without. Budgeting is about deciding where your money will go and making a spending and savings plan.
No one is born with money management skills. The money management skills you have come from your parents but you may want to manage your money differently. You also may have learned some money management skills at school or through life experiences. Developing good money management skills takes time, practice and patience.
While people work hard to earn an income, they often do not work at planning how income will be spent. There are steps you can take to make a budget work for you. The basic steps in successful budgeting include:
— Track how your money is spent for one month
— List all income for the month
— Compare expenses to income
— Determine what changes need to be made
— Make a spending and savings plan
— Try to follow the spending and savings plan, adjusting as necessary
— As money is spent, record all expenses on expense worksheet