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Personal Budget Basics for Beginners

DON’T say the B-word. What caused this stigma I have no idea, but one thing is for certain, people who don’t know how to handle their money in the most basic ways know one thing for sure, don’t tell me to ‘budget’.

The fact of the matter is this, the basics of budgeting, simply taking all of your income in and calculating expenses going out to arrive at your (hopefully) positive balance, remain an integral component of basic money management. Whether you’re a youth, or just ready to take control of your own money, understanding where you money goes is crucial.

But get this, not only is tracking your spending and earnings crucial, there’s an even more important step in the mix. Responsibility combined with maturity must go hand in hand with proper money management or all planning and intentions go out the window. This is why budgeting has received bad attention—it forces people to make decisions they don’t want to.

Face the facts, in order to take control of your finances you need to make some important decisions, the biggest ones are likely the reduction of your spending. North Americans are the worst in the world when it comes to spending more than they earn. The first step in proper budgeting is creating a plan you can stick with. Some of the biggest stumbling blocks are reigning in the spending.

It may appear like you can control or maintain your current level of spending, however, remember, having ZERO in your balance between income and spending doesn’t mean you’re a smart financial planner, it simply means you can’t control your money. Something always has to give when you’re changing from financial consumption to financial frugality. It hurts to think about it, it’s usually undesirable to handle it, but without tough first steps don’t expect any advancement in your own money situations. You are in control of your own money and only you can make it happen.

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