A budget is a plan for your future income and expenditures that you can use as a guideline
for spending and saving. Although many Americans already use a budget to plan their
spending, the majority of Americans also routinely spend more than they can afford.
The key to spending within your means is to know your expenses and to spend less than
you make. A good monthly budget can help ensure you pay your bills on time, have funds
to cover unexpected emergencies, and reach your financial goals.
To create or rework your budget, follow the simple steps outlined:
- Add Up Your Income - determine how much income you have
- Estimate Expenses - keep track of how much you spend for one month
- Figure Out The Difference - totaled up your monthly income and your monthly expenses, subtract the expense total from the income total to get the difference.
A positive number indicates that you are spending less than you earn - congratulations. A negative number indicates that your expenses are greater than your income. This means you will need to trim your expenses in order to begin living within your means.
Understanding College Cost
The cost of college can include a variety of items including some you might not expect. By understanding college costs, you can compare schools and explore options for how to lower your costs. College costs include more than tuition and room and board.