Living Cheaply - How To Make A Monthly Budget

- 11:13 PM
Frugal living tips for a monthly budget will be the first post of our series of frugal living tips. Living cheaply is truly an art form that is learned over years of trial and error. However, you can really ramp up the pace with sound advice. This is why living cheaply is creating this series. I sure wish I had known these tips and tricks in the past. People may think I am cheap, but I live a rich full life. Here’s Step One of How I Do It!

Personal Monthly Budget 

Step one of how to make a monthly budget is broken down everything you spend money on into Categories.  Our expenses general are going to consist of housing, utilities, food, entertainment, clothing, travel, and medical care. Firstly review all the checks you have written over the past few months. Then review your credit card statements over the same time period
Add up what you spent in each category I mention above as well as any category that is specific to you. Everyone's personal monthly budget will be a little different. 

Bonus Tips: Online banks and Credit card companies usually offer features that will summarize your spending over any recent period of time. These summaries will be based on the businesses you spend your money.  

However, if you do not use credit or debit cards, you will just have to keep a careful account of all your monthly expenses. For instance, you will have to track what you are spending at restaurants and the grocery store.  

Study your Spending Habits

Now break down this information and compare the totals in each of your categories. Look to see if you have some unreasonable expenses first. Especially in relation to the percentages of your paycheck these category's are taken. 

Monthly Budget Plan

Now you will set a monthly budget plan and decide what you allocate to each of your categories. 

Don't forget to include a monthly budget for personal savings, even if the target will be quite small in the beginning. It's crucial to save at least 1% percent of your monthly budget for savings.  Over time you will want to increase this percentage. You will find that you will be able to gradually increase saving budget over time. The more we have in savings, the better prepared we will be for whatever life throws at us.  Put aside somewhere around six months' worth of your living expenses just in case you lose your job or become unable to work. 

Financial experts usually will recommend spending no more the 30% percent of your monthly budget on housing.  Depending on your location, this may not be terribly realistic. If this is your situation you may need to consider changing neighborhoods if possible. 

Don't forget to set savings aside for your retirement in addition to your emergency funds.  If you are not aware this is important, please have a conversation with someone who is currently retired. I can assure you they will clear this up for you quickly. 

Search For Ways To Save

After you have finished creating your budget, you will see clearly the areas you will need to cut back your spending. This is where the magic happens. Search for a way to save in each of these categories. Start with your biggest expenses first.  

Search Scenario 1 - Saving on Rent 

For instance, if your rent is say around $1000 a month, and you spend $350 monthly on food, you may need to consider searching for a cheaper rental. 

Search Scenario 2 - Saving on Mortgage

On the other hand, if you have a mortgage, consider refinancing at a cheaper interest rate. As well as looking for ways to lower your food costs. For example, you could stop eating at restaurants. Instead, search for some recipes that utilize more nutritious but less expensive ingredients compared to eating out. 


That is a wrap for a monthly budget, I hope this information has been as helpful to you as it was for me. Setting up your personal monthly budget is step one of a living cheaply life. 

Part 2 of our series covers how to save money on food and make frugal meals. You can check it out HERE

If you guys have any questions or comments I would be happy to read whatever you guys have to say about making a frugal living monthly budget. 

Living on the Cheap - Saving money tips



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