Budgeting: 7 Steps to Budget Money Like a Boss
Updated: Nov 11, 2021
I don't know about you friend, but I have quite the transformation story with money. One of the reasons I found myself leaving Atlanta, GA the end of 2020 involved reducing my spending. You may think it's crazy that traveling the world will save you money, but it is easier than you think.
Although I am a Certified Public Accountant, have experience with roles ranging from analyst to executive with 7+ industries across strategy, finances and operations, and helped others make 6-8 figures annually, for years I sucked at my own money.
When I moved to Atlanta, GA in 2010, I began to realize how I treated my own net worth and finances differently than others and began to get help. I've made lots of progress like reducing expenses, creating a 6 Pack of Wealth program, and helped others. At the same time, I have a long way to fix my finances and before I am out of over 6 figures of debt.
One of the creative ways I make money is with platforms like Intellifluence. So, when I got a pitch for a campaign from Debt Consolidation to write an article again on budgeting, I immediately said yes. In 2021, I have immersed myself in financial teachers, technology, and tools.
If I am making progress to budget money like a boss, so can you!
Are you ready to learn about budgeting? Let's talk about the 7 Steps to Budget Money Like a Boss.
Budget Money Like a Boss
Do you want to learn how to budget money? Depending on where you are with your finances, becoming savvy with budgeting your money will take time. No matter what age you are, what your financial state is, and your current circumstances, it is possible to learn more about money.
How could budgeting change your life? Have you started with identifying your current finances, determining net worth, setting financial goals, creating your budget, using budget tools, getting financial education, and assessing your financial progress weekly?
I will walk you through budgeting and the 7 Steps to Budget Money Like a Boss step by step.
7 Steps to Budget Money
All around the world many of us did not grow up with financial education in managing our money. We watched what our parents did, absorbed the emotion around money, and often repeated the same behaviors with money.
When you stop and think about it, it is easy to see how many around the world operate in abundance or scarcity. It's become normal now to see debt almost everywhere. According to Statista, the national debt in the USA is $28,9 Trillion, about 1.77 Trillion more than a year ago as of October 2021.
According to a CNBC 2021 Report, the average American has $90,460 in debt including credit cards loans, and mortgages. According to BenefitsPro, average debt has climbed over $150,000 per household. When you think about it, it is no surprise when about 56 percent of young adults age 35 or younger are financially literate, compared with 63 percent of those age 36 to 50. These vary depending on countries and economies.
While the external statistics are grim, circumstances may be challenging, it is up to each and every one of us to take ownership of our personal finances and the legacies we leave behind.
Whether you are a working a 9-5, building a brand, and/or lifestyle entrepreneur, these 7 Steps to Budget Money Like a Boss will give you a roadmap and inspire you to take action now!
1. Identify Your Current Finances
The first step to transform your financial situation is to assess where you are. A great place to start is by logging in to your bank account and reviewing your last month to 3 months for spending, income, and savings.
When I first assessed my spending in 2010, I almost had a heart attack. Although my income was over 6 figures at the time, I realized I was barely giving 2%, not saving anything, and spending $1,000 on food alone, Talk about a wake up call.
I took action steps including enrolling in Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, syncing my bank account with Mint.com, and reducing my spending by over $700 monthly in food alone.
Steps to Identify Current Finances
1 Assess Where You Are
2 Review 1-3 months of activity
3 Determine expenses you may reduce
4 Assess income sources in your household
5 Get into the habit of facing your finances
2. Determine Your Net Worth
Do not let the circumstances of your financial situation deter you from taking action. Every single step matters. It may be a painful road to travel, but it is possible to come out the other side victorious. The most common mistake I have seen people make is quit. That's a sure fire way to make sure nothing changes.
The next step is to determine your net worth. This means adding up your assets and subtracting your liabilities.
Steps to Determine Net Worth
1 Identify assets like real estate, stocks, savings.
2 Determine your current liabilities e.g. anything you owe anyone
3 Take your total assets - your total liabilities
Celebrate! These first two steps are huge! We are becoming adults together! A few years ago, I started teaching Financial Peace University and seeing the 6 figure deficit in my net worth was humbling to say the least.
I know firsthand how hard it is when you are being and doing your best with applying to roles, pitching businesses, and yet the situation doesn't seem to be turning around. It may be debilitating to see and feel your net worth deficit increasing. I've walked through it asking family for help far beyond what you imagined, yet grateful they have it and are willing to help. Don't give up.
Once you know where you are, you may make a plan for where you are going, and take action.
3. Set Financial Goals
Whether you are sitting at home or traveling the world, you get to learn how to budget money. One way you do this is to set financial goals. Your financial goals may include spending, savings, creating, investing, leveraging, and giving.
When I started seriously setting financial goals, I started with spending. At the time, it was my biggest pain point and area for improvement with finances. In comparison, my current financial goals are focused on creating, leveraging (paying off debt), and improving my net worth with specific and measurable goals.
Steps to Set Financial Goals
1 Determine the area that warrants the biggest need right now
2 Set a specific goal for this week, month, quarter, year, and 3-5 years.
3 List the action you will take to get there.
An example may be reducing your spending by over $700 in less than 3 months, allocating the savings to giving, saving, and reducing debt. Some actions you may take may include reviewing your finances three times a week, and setting up a financial app to help you.
Swinging into setting financial goals.
4. Create Your Budget
Now that you know your financial status, and have set financial goals, it's time to create your budget with the end in mind. You could know your status, have great financial goals, but if you aren't managing your budget you will drop the ball.
Creating your budget is both an art and science. It is telling your money where to go before it comes.
Have you reviewed the percentage of your rent, utilities, and food when compared to your income? Are you considering ways to reduce your largest expenses or even turn them into income? Do you regularly review what you spend on clothes, subscriptions, entertainment, and eating out? Have you set up automatic withdrawals for giving, saving, and bills?
These are all notorious for money being spent without us even noticing.
Steps to Create Your Budget
1 Outline your fixed expenses e.g. rent, insurance
2 Determine the % of expenses to income
3 Assess ways to reduce fixed expenses
4 Identify day to day expenses