Becoming an adult: budgeting


Ashley Tanner

How to Adult is a featured series that will help prepare you for college or independence. It will cover a variety of topics that your parents may have helped you with over the years, but soon may not.
One thing that is so valued in our culture, but we never seem to have enough of is money. Especially for students.
There are so many expenses that come with growing up: gas, car insurance, cell phone bill, apartment and extra money for food or emergencies. It can seem overwhelming thinking about how to manage all of it, and even more so when you’re left with only a fourth of your money halfway through the month.
In this post, I will explain how to budget your monthly income in hopes that you will learn how to wisely save and spend your money.
[vc_tta_tabs][vc_tta_section i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-money” title=”Income” tab_id=”1460699960985-ecd2dc49-bb37″ add_icon=”true”]Before you can create your budget, you need to find out what your income is. Depending on what kind of job you work and how many hours you are working, this may differ paycheck to paycheck.
Most high school jobs are fast food or minimum wage jobs. Minimum wage is the smallest amount a workplace can pay their employees, and in Missouri that is $7.65.
So, if a student worked for 15 hours each week on average making $7.65, their monthly income would be about $479 before taxes are taken out. Depending on whether they are paying both state and federal taxes and if they are paying into social security or not will make a difference on how much they will make. If they just paid federal, their monthly income will be about $459. To find out yours, you can use this website.
[/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-barcode” title=”Track your spending” tab_id=”1460699961385-1fb7cee3-a587″ add_icon=”true”]How much are you spendingNext, you need to find out where you spend your money. You can use Mint, a website that allows you to connect your bank account and
other accounts together to manage all of your money from one website. It is from the Inuit online tax service, so you can be assured that all of your info will be kept safe.
If you choose to do it on your own, keep all of your receipts. At the end of each day you have purchased something, add up how much you have spent into various
categories such as food, clothing, gas, etc.
Do this for a few weeks to see where you spend the bulk of your money.
Another option is, depending on which bank you are apart of, they may have an app that allows you to check your spending from your debit card/credit card through them. Contact your bank to find out if they offer this service.
After tracking your spending for a few weeks, you may start to notice where all of your money is going and why you may not have as much money as you thought you did.[/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-calculator” title=”Creating a budget” tab_id=”1460700485275-b4978e9a-91e7″ add_icon=”true”]Creating a budget
After you have established where your money goes and how much you make each month, then it’s time to create a budget.
A budget is a set amount of money you plan on spending during a set amount of time.
You need to decide where you think it is important for your money to go, so ask yourself questions like this:1460675685

  • Is it necessary to have?
  • Will it benefit me in the long run?
  • How many hours will I be able to work this week/month?
  • Do I have a trip coming up that will require extra funds?
  • Will I have to take off a substantial amount of work this month?
  • Will the extra time off become a financial burden?

Those are all important when deciding where you plan to spend your money. For example, if you are saving up to get a new cell phone, you may want to spend less money eating out and put the money you would normally spend towards the phone.
So, using the $459 a month example, the info-graphic to the right s an example of what i budget could look like.
The additional $260 can be put into savings for your future or just saved for special things you want.
Your budget may look different than this, it may include more categories or less. And each month when your income is different and your needs change, you may have to adjust your budget accordingly.
If you end up spending more money than you had planned in any area of your budget, it may set you back for your financial goals. You may need to adjust another area to make up for the over spending, or take it out of the extra pocket money, which will later set you back. Try and be conscious of that, and ask yourself if what you are buying can wait will next month.
Sticking to a budget will help you prepare for when you are older and you have more financial responsibilities to take care of. So developing the good habits now will make it easier later.
Do you have any other budget suggestions? Leave your comments and questions below.[/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_tabs]