Making a Budget
Graduating from college and transitioning into the world-of-work can be filled with both excitement and fear. Among the “adulting” skills needed to survive life after college is, first and foremost, a budget.
Why You Need a Budget
- Salary Negotiation: In order to negotiate effectively you will need to know how much money you need to live.
- Keep Track of Where Your Money is Going: Without a way to plan and track income and expenses you may never be able to achieve your financial goals.
- Saving up for Big Purchase: Being able to sock away extra income in an intentional manner helps you plan for big purchases such as a car, travel, or your first home.
- Paying Down any Debt: Being debt free opens so many doors. Making more than the minimum payments on debt can save you time and money.
- Consumer.gov: Manage money; handle credit, loans, and debt; and avoid scams and identity theft
- Budgeting 101: How to Budget Money: Divide your income among needs, wants, savings and debt repayment, using the 50/30/20 budget.
- How to Make a Budget: Your Step-by-Step Guide: Ramsey Solutions
Online Budget Platforms
- Your personal bank: Many banks offer online tools to help you set up and stick to a budget. Check out what your bank has to offer.
- Check with your new employer and whether they offer budget/financial management perks as part of their benefits
- Mint, for just about everything Cost: Free
- YNAB, for hands-on zero-based budgeting Cost: Pay either $14.99 per month or $99 per year, although you can try it out in a free 34-day trial. College students can use YNAB for free for a year.
- Goodbudget, for hands-on envelope budgeting Cost: Goodbudget is free. Goodbudget Plus is $8 per month or $70 per year.
- EveryDollar, for simple zero-based budgeting Cost: The basic version of EveryDollar is free. You can try the premium version for free for 14 days. After the trial, you can pay $79.99 a year or $12.99 a month.
- Personal Capital, for tracking wealth and spending Cost: Free
- PocketGuard, for a simplified budgeting snapshot Cost: Basic PocketGuard is free. PocketGuard Plus is $7.99 per month, $34.99 per year or $79.99 for a lifetime purchase.
- Honeydue, for budgeting with a partner Cost: Free
- Fudget, for budgeting without syncing accounts Cost: Free for Fudget; $3.99 one-time purchase to upgrade to Fudget Pro.
What do I Include in My Budget?
Write down your expenses using this worksheet. Expenses are what you spend money on.