My name is Prudence the Penguin, I am here to tell you all about how to budget. Budgeting is very important because it helps you only spend the money that you have coming in, while saving some of it for the future. Before I started budgeting, I would spend money on anything and everything but ran into a problem. I didn’t have any money left to pay for my food and my stomach was grumbling. I finally realized that I needed to budget for my monthly costs, so I went through the following steps to create my budget.
Figure out how much money you make per month- I had not thought about how much money I was bringing in but was spending all of it. I added up all of my allowance I get from doing my chores to understand how much money I had to possibly spend per month. I made sure not to add in any money I got as a gift because it is not money that I will get every month. I wanted to make sure I had an exact number for how much I make to set up my budget.
Figure out what you need vs. what you want - I gathered all my bills from the month before to see what I need to spend my money on. There is a huge difference from what a need is compared to what a want is when it comes to budgeting your money. A need is something that you must get for your everyday survival. On the other hand, a want is something you would like to have but doesn’t help you thrive. For example, I went to the grocery store to get some snacks for the week. Food will help me survive so that is a need. While at the store, I saw a cool hula-hoop that I wanted but it is not necessary for survival, so it is a want. I pulled all my bills that were needs to one side, so I could start creating a clear budget.
Create your budget - I wrote out all my necessary bills like food, housing costs, and more. The first thing I had on my budget was savings. I treat my savings like a bill because I always want to pay myself first. Just like Penelope the Pig said, savings is extremely important to have for future goals and needs. Plus, by putting savings first I won’t be as tempted to spend it as I would be if I wait to save after I pay all my bills. After putting some of my monthly money into savings, I separated out the rest of my money based on my needs with a couple wants sprinkled in, like getting a piece of candy every week. Always remember, that you can still spend money on wants but just be cautious not to break your budget buying them. When I first started following my budget, I took all my monthly money and separated it into envelopes. Each envelope was marked with how the money inside would be used and had a certain amount of cash that I budgeted for it. This way once the envelope was out of money, I wouldn’t be able to spend more because all my money was budgeted into the other envelopes that I need to spend on those bills. This trick definitely helped me when it came to starting my budget.
After I followed my budget for a couple months, my savings grew, and I never ran out of money. It showed me the value of money and how I can use it to help me succeed in the future. Now it’s your turn! Pull your allowance together and compare your spending habits. Budgeting could help you get exactly what you want.