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Build Your Budget

As a job seeker and throughout life, preparing and functioning within a budget is an important commitment to make. Budgets help people live within their means and use their financial resources wisely.

A budget consists of income, primarily through a salary, and expenses, including things that must be paid for as well as items that are desired but not necessities. In order to live without debt, income must meet expenses and preferably exceed them so that money can be saved for the future.

Steps to Creating a Budget

  1. Determine income including salary, spouse's salary, if applicable, and other. When looking at a salary, it is important to remember that take home pay will be less than the gross salary; taxes will be taken out.
  2. Determine what must be paid for - i.e. student loans, taxes (estimated at 34% of gross income), and employee benefits such as contributions to medical insurance and retirement plans.
  3. Subtract what must be paid for from monthly income to see what is left for living expenses.
  4. Next, list living expenses such as housing; condo or homeowner fees; insurance; furniture; household items; Internet/cable/phone; utilities; transportation costs including gas, car maintenance and automobile insurance; food; clothing; and savings. This amount should not exceed the amount left for living expenses.

Tips

  • Take the time to create a budget to not be caught unaware of how much income it really takes to meet expenses.
  • Remember to put money away for annual payments, or those that are not made each month. For example, life insurance may be due annually or semi-annually. Divide the total payment by 12 and put aside that amount each month until the bill comes due.
  • Start saving now. Determine how much can be put away and make a commitment to do so each month.

Create A Budget

Use The Budget Worksheet to find out if your income meets expenses, and what costs might be reduced in order to save more.

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