How to Build a Budget
The first step is knowing what you make.
You have your income before tax, gross pay. And take home, or net pay. There are certain ways to save that allow you to take advantage of your pre-tax income, but lets slowww it down for a minute.
To properly address your financial situation, you’ve got to know what you’re working with.
So calculate your gross pay and your net pay. We'll be using the net pay in further calculations (yes, there's math, sighhh).
The second step is knowing what you spend.
Don’t just play a guessing game with this one. Sit down, take a look at your bank account, your credit cards, and any other financial accounts.
Write down, that’s right, you heard me…like with a pencil and paper…all of your monthly recurring costs.
Then write down your incidental costs, things like that latte on your way to work last Thursday and those new shoes you just had to have.
Once you have all of your costs written down, and I mean all - yes booze counts, add them up. Once you get a figure, multiply that by 10% (that’s .1 for those of you who didn’t pay attention in math class).
This is called Murphy’s Law, which was coined by some guy in the military who actually acknowledged if anything can go wrong, it will. Smart guy, now DO IT.
After you inflate your spending, because we understand shit happens, take your net pay each month and subtract your monthly spending. The number you have left is your future.
Sounds dramatic, but it’s true. This is the number you have to save for retirement, to plan for unforeseen circumstances, and to build your dreams.