Budgeting 101: How to Create a Personal Finance Budget

How to Create a Personal Finance Budget

Most people require some ways to track where their money is going out each month. If you have taken any financial advice from a financial advisor then you may know that there is only one simple rule which is budgeting. A budget is a road map that will show you where your hard-earned money is going out.

A Budget assigns spending limits to some particular expenditure so that you can spend your money reasonably. Creating a budget is essential for you to develop the right spending habits and ensure the money goes into the bank accounts where it should be.

You may think that making your first budget is a difficult task, but this guide will walk you through each step of creating a personalized budget. Here, in this guide, you can also learn what budgeting mistakes you must avoid.

Let’s get started!

How to create a personal finance budget:

Step 1: assess your net income:

The foundation of an effective budget is your net income. You can calculate your net income by taking your total wages or salary minus tax deduction and if there is any employer program deduction such as retirement plan or healthcare insurance.

Now, this amount is your net income. Regardless, of your gross salary, we will take your net income to create a customized budget.

Step 2: track your spending habits:

If you can know how much money is coming in, then the next step is figuring out where this money is going out. You can track and categorize your spending habits so that you can get to know which stuff you are spending the most money on. Also, you can get to know where this money can be easily saved.

You should start by listing down your fixed expenses. These include your monthly rent, monthly subscription, monthly bills, car payments, utility, debt paying off, mortgage, etc.

Then, you can list your variable expenses which means the items that can change from month to month such as gas, grocery, and entertainment.

Some irregular spending you must include in your budget is Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, property taxes, annual vacations, professional dues, annual car inspections, and so on.

This is an area where you can cut some spending options. You can start categorization your monthly expenditure using your credit card or bank statement.

You can also use your pen and notebook or Excel sheet to list down your daily expenditure. Also, you can use a budgeting app on your phone to list down your daily expenditure.

Step 3: Set realistic goals:

Before shifting through the information you have tracked, you must set a list of short-time as well as long-term financial goals. Short-term goals should take time around two to three years whereas long-term financial goals may take decades to meet.

Short-term financial goals include setting up an emergency fund for paying off credit card debts or healthcare, education, etc. Long-term financial goals may include a plan for your child’s education, a plan for your retirement, etc.

Your financial goals will help you to be motivated to stick to your budget. Suppose, you can cut your spending easily if you know you are saving for a vacation.

Step 4: Make a plan:

In this step, you need to compare what you are spending and what you want to spend. You can check the list of fixed and variable expenses that you have listed for the coming month. Then compare these two and focus on your net income.

You must be considered specific and realistic expenditures for each category of expenses. You can cut your spending between things you need to have and things that you want. For example, if you drive to your office every day then gasoline is your need whereas a music subscription may count as want.

You must focus on such things as you desire to achieve your predefined financial goals by redirecting your money.

Step 5: Adjust your spending to stay on budget

At this stage, you already have documented your net income and your spending habits; so you can adjust your spending. It will help you to be on track with your predefined budget and thus you can have money to meet your financial goals.

You should look at the area “want” where you can make the necessary cuts. If you can adjust your “want” area then you can surely notice the effect on your monthly payments. But, you must not adjust the “need” area.

If the number of spending still is not adding up, then you can take a look at the “fixed spending” area. You can weigh your options carefully.

You must remember that even a small amount can add up to a big amount of money. You will be surprised at how much extra money is accumulated by putting in one little adjustment at a time.

Step 6: Review the budget regularly:

Once your budget is created, you must review your budget as well as your spending regularly. It ensures that you are on the track. You can see how you spend your money each month, where you have overspent, and if you have extra left over.

You can also make some adjustments again in your budget from what you have learned. Your life will face so many changes over time; so you need to make changes to your budget too.

But, once you have got one baseline budget, making tweaks is easier.


How do I determine my monthly income?

Ans: If you get an annual salary then simply divide the amount by 12. This result is your monthly salary. But, to know your monthly income you can subtract the amount that is deducted from your salary as tax, the amount is deducted for any employer’s program such as a retirement plan, or healthcare insurance.

How do I track my expenses?

Ans: There are plenty of personal finance management apps in the market, so you can track your expenses using one of these software. You can make this your everyday routine to help you manage your money on the go. Some potential expense tracker apps are- Mint, YNAB, QuickBooks, and so on.

How do I set financial goals and prioritize my spending?

Ans: If you juggling to set your financial goals then you can try these 5 easier steps to prioritize your spending habits. Step 1: write down your short and long-term financial goals. Step 2: Set your priorities Step 3: set how much you want to set in a specific time frame. Step 4: Review this plan periodically.

How do I stick to my budget and avoid overspending?

Ans: You can stick to your budget and avoid overspending by following these few steps:

  •       Create a budget.
  •       Always shop with a list
  •       Make your work for you
  •       Avoid spending on your desired items rather look for needed items.
  •       Pay off debts on time.
  •       Challenge yourself to stick to your budget.
  •       Review the plan

What are some common mistakes to avoid when creating and sticking to a budget?

Ans: When creating and sticking to a budget you may go through some common mistakes. These are:

  • ·       Not writing down your budget.
  • ·       Not setting a realistic budget.
  • ·       Setting unrealistic financial goals
  • ·       Not plan for emergency funds
  • ·       Not tracking the budget
  • ·       Not reviewing the plan
  • ·       Feeling discouraged while your budget is not working.

How often should I review and adjust my budget?

Ans: Life is full of unexpected phenomena. So, you need to review your budget from time to time if you need to make some changes according to your situation. Otherwise, you can review it each couple of months. If you get a pay rise then you can save more, or you might find your prescription bills increase, and so on.


If you want to get control over your finance then budgeting is the key. In this era of online shopping and contactless payment, it is too easier to overspend. Then you can find yourself short of money.

By prioritizing your spending habits, assessing your income, and creating an effective budget based on this information, you will be on the way to achieving your financial goals and securing your future.

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