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Community Bank

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Financial Education

Making a Budget

What is a Budget?

A budget is a plan on how you will spend your hard-earned money each month. A budget shows you where you are spending your money, what your financial needs are, and how much you can spend on other things. Read more on what a budget is here.

Follow these steps to get started:

1. Identify your income.

List all sources of income you have coming in each month. Use pay stubs, bank account statements, or other records to gather this information. There are helpful worksheets from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau here. And more information on identifying income here.

2. List your expenses.

Now figure out where you are spending your money. This might take some time. You can group expenses into categories such as "childcare" or "health expenses". Keep in mind that some expenses vary from month to month. Estimate the average you spend each month for these expenses. You can use the spending tracker worksheet offered here. There are some spending calculators from the Department of Agriculture here.

3. Compare your income and expenses.

Person working on a calculator to make a budget

If you are bringing in more than your spending, well done! If you are spending more than you are brining in, look for areas where you can cut back on spending.

4. Create your budget.

Once you know how much you earn and spend each month, you can develop your monthly budget. You can use this budgeting worksheet from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

5.Monitor your budget.

Make changes if you need to. Don't forget to include upcoming expenses, such as holiday shopping or a vacation, so you can begin to save for those.

Good luck! There are numerous budgeting tools online if you need additional resources and as always, you can reach out to us for help! Happy Budgeting!

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