Why Create a Budgeting Plan?
“Oh here we go - Steve is gonna tell me stop drinking Starbucks or cancel my Netflix subscription or stop having a fun life...gosh Steve I don’t even know why I read your articles.”
Okay hold on, we will not tell you what to do but this article will provide a step by step guide on how to take control of your finances with a budgeting plan that matches your goals.
Budgeting is not about sucking the fun out of your life. As the famous Dave Ramsey says, “budgeting is about telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”
At Call to Leap we're here to help you work your way towards financial freedom. So our budgeting plan is not about saving a few bucks every month. It’s about your long term goals and focusing on all the details of your finances.
How to make a Budgeting Plan
Okay, so the best way to budget is to be as thorough as possible about all of your finances. So first, let's write everything down and map out your plan. Take out a piece of paper and follow these steps.
Write down your goals. Maybe you want to pay off your parent’s mortgage, or maybe you want to achieve financial freedom in 7 years. Or maybe you just want to stop living paycheck to paycheck and be “cash flow positive” for once in your life.
Whatever your goals are, write them down. Be specific as possible. Write down your…
3 month Goals
1 year Goals
3 year Goals
5 year Goals
10 year Goals
And If you are young, don’t let that stop you from planning your future. The earlier you start taking control of your finances, the better!
When you’re writing down your goals, have fun with it. Create a road-map, draw pictures, and truly envision what you want to accomplish!
2. Income Assessment
Next, assess what your monthly after-tax income looks like. If your income fluctuates throughout the year use the average number of the past 3 months to give you the best idea.
With all of these steps, be sure that you are as detailed as possible. Account for side hustles and any extra forms of income.
Salary: 4,000 / month
Dividends: $50 / month
Side hustle: $200 / month
Total Monthly income: $4,250 / month
3. Expense Assessment
Okay, this is where the nitty-gritty details begin.
Go through your bank statements. Usually, these are accessible online through your bank.
When looking through your bank statements you may find old subscriptions that are no longer useful to you. You might even find some hidden fees that you didn’t even know you were paying every month. Use this opportunity to take time and cancel any unneeded monthly payments.
Once you have cut out any unnecessary recurring payments, check your bank statements for your recurring expenses and write them down. These will include things like your car payment, insurance, phone bill, utilities, rent, gas, Netflix subscription, etc.
Be as thorough as possible when you are writing everything down!
So when you write these down, it should look something like this:
Dining out: $100
Total: $ 2,150
What if your monthly expenses exceed your Income?
If your monthly expenses exceed your income then you are cash flow negative, which is the opposite of what you want and this is bad.
**Cue the “Oh no” song from TikTok**
If you are cash flow negative, then you have two options. And it is best to do these options simultaneously.
Increase your monthly income.
Decrease your monthly expenses.
If you need to increase your monthly income there are many different ways you can do this. You can start a side hustle, get a second job, or start a business. There are many different ways to do this. Remember, keep your goals in mind. Even if you were not cash flow negative, it's always a good idea to increase your monthly income through whatever way you choose.
If you want to decrease your monthly expenses you will need to assess what you can cut out of your monthly payments.
Another way you can manage your expenses is through the Jar Budget Method.
T. Harv Eker’s Jar Budget Method
The Jar Budget Method is a method that T. Harv Eker introduces in his book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. Harv Eker shares this method to teach people how to make a monthly budget.
This method is basically a plan that divides your expenses into 6 different “jars.” These jars don’t need to be actual jars but the idea is to assign all of your expenses to categories.
The Jar Method includes the following 6 categories:
55% - Necessities
10% - Savings
10% - Play
10% - Education
10% - Financial( Investments)
5% - Give
You don’t need to follow all of these exactly how Harv Eker designed them. But the idea is to categorize your expenses. This will help you decide what you can eliminate from what you really need to be purchasing throughout the month.
4. Document Your Budget
So at this point, you have assessed all that you are working with. You have a clear idea of what finances are going in and out of your life.
Now it’s time to create a way to track your finances every month. There are several methods you can choose.
The first is mobile apps. Some mobile apps you can use to document your spending and budgeting include:
These apps allow you to connect your bank account so you can track your spending and create a budget online. You can play around with these different apps and see which one works best for you.
Another popular method is to use a spreadsheet on Google Drive or Microsoft Excel.
This would be a good idea if you want to use the Jar Budget Method because you can use a spreadsheet to document your expenses in different categories.
5. Course Correcting
They say that when Apollo 13 had its journey to the moon, it was actually off course 97% percent of the time.
Maybe this number is a fact and maybe it is not. But there is still a profound lesson in this analogy…
Sticking to your budgeting plan may not always be easy. Especially if we are talking about long term goals. And whenever you have a goal, you are bound to get off track. You are human after all. But as long as you keep the end destination in mind and you adjust your course along the way, then eventually you will get there.
Alright. That’s pretty much it on how to create the best budgeting plan for 2021. Remember to write down your goals, have an income assessment, have an expense assessment, document your budget, and check in to see if you’re on course.
Now that you've learned all about budgeting, and are ready to do it, you may find yourself with some spare cash leftover. Why not invest it in the stock market? And if you're not sure how to start, our membership teaches all our exclusive members on how to not only invest in great long-term stocks, but also sell covered calls and cash-secured puts, trade LEAPs options, and generate anywhere from $800-8000 each month. I’m so excited that you’re starting this journey to financial freedom with me! When I became financially free at 33-years-old, I was able to finally quit my 9-5 job as a public middle school math teacher, spend more time with my friends and family, and pursue my passion in helping others grow their wealth. Let me show you how you can reach financial freedom too!