Budget Planning Guide

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You should setup a budget planning model to plan and budget your money for your next home purchase. This will help you budget money you need for the down payment and closing costs.

 

Page Topics :

  1. why have a budget
  2. what goes into a budget
  3. FREE: family budgeting worksheet
  4. FREE: budgeting sheets

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Why Have a Budget

Having a budget plan allows you to achieve your spending and financial goals - other benefits:

Keeping Track

There is only so much money per pay period. Question: where does it all go?

A good portion of your money pays for housing, food and basic living. Another portion pays for transportation. But where does the rest go?

Budgeting allows you to track your monthly expenditures so that you can plan key savings strategies for important short- and long-term goals.

 

Limits Your Spending

Having a financial budget may find that about 5-10% of your total spending may be for purchases that are not needed.

Think about it. What could you do with that extra 5-10%? Perhaps your future plans include buying your first home, going back to school, saving for your child's college, paying down debt or simply setting aside cash for a special trip.

A budget will identify expenses that can be cut so that you can set goals on making important long-term savings.

 

Discipline Yourself

Your goal is to rid yourself of instant gratification (the symptom of credit card use). The budget sets guidelines on what and when items can be purchased.

 

Setting Goals

Budgeting supports your financial goals, which may include:

— saving for your first home
— paying down debt
— preparing to go back to school
— planning for retirement

Good budgeting skills add these goals into the budget.

 

Prepare for Emergencies

Question: if you were to lose your job, how long could you survive on available funds?

If you had to stretch those funds, what reductions can you make in your existing monthly expenses?

That is the key benefit of a budget. It helps prepare for emergencies with established expense reduction plans.

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What Goes Into the Budget

Your budget "cash in-flows" needs to be greater than your budget "cash out-flows"

Income

The budget starts with how much money you bring home on a monthly basis. Income sources include:

— employment income
— alimony received
— investment income
— social security
— support payments
— savings

How much income should be allocated for the budget?

— your goal should be around 90-98% or less
— the remaining 2-10% of your income gets allocated for savings

(note: budget items are expressed in monthly terms)

download budgeting worksheet to estimate income

 

Housing Expenses

Housing expenses will likely be your largest expense item, especially if you own a home. Housing expenses include:

— your mortgage payment with escrow (taxes, insurance)
— monthly rental payment if you do not own
— utility services (electric, gas, oil, water, sewage, garbage, etc.)
— telephone, internet, cable
— house repairs and maintenance

How much for the budget?

— about 32-35% of income if you own; 15-20% if you rent

(note: budget percentages can vary by region and situation)

download budgeting worksheet to estimate housing expenses

 

Transportation

Transportation expenses include:

— auto loan payments
— auto insurance
— fuel expenses
— maintenance and repairs
— taxes, licensing
— parking
— public transportation

How much for the budget?

— about 9-12% of income

(note: budget percentages can vary by region and situation)

download budgeting worksheet to estimate transportation costs

 

Family or Personal Care

Family care expenses include:

— family care insurance (health, disability, life, dental, other care)
— doctor, dental, eye care, hospital visits
— veterinarian expenses
— prescriptions and over-the-counter medications
— child care
— elder care
— health clubs

How much for the budget?

— about 8-19% of income; 15-25% for full child/elder care services

(note: budget percentages can vary by region and situation)

download budgeting worksheet to estimate personal care expenses

 

Living Expenses

Home living expenses include:

— food
— home living supplies
— school and work lunches
— snacks, vendors
— clothing
— education-related expenses
— home services (cleaning, gardening)
— postage and paper supplies

How much for the budget?

— about 27-35% of income

(note: budget percentages can vary by region and situation)

download budgeting worksheet to estimate your living expenses

 

Family Recreation

Recreation expenses include:

— dining out
— movies out and rentals
— outside entertainment
— cigarettes, beer, wine, liquor
— birthdays and holidays
— vacation travel
— weekend, day trips
— gambling, lottery tickets

How much for the budget?

— about 4-6% of income

(note: budget percentages can vary by region and situation)

download budgeting worksheet to estimate recreation expenses

 

Obligations

Obligation expenses include:

— credit card payments
— student loan payments
— home equity line or loan payments
— personal loan payments
— alimony, child support payments
— judgment or liens
— other assessed taxes
— charitable donations

How much for the budget?

— about 18-28% of income (your goal is to reduce this percentage)

(note: budget percentages can vary by region and situation)

download budgeting worksheet to estimate your obligations

 

Savings

Savings include:

— 401K contributions
— IRA contributions
— investments
— savings (personal, college, retirement)

How much for the budget?

— about 2-10% of income (goal is to increase this percentage)

(note: budget percentages can vary by region and situation)

download our budgeting worksheet to estimate your saving needs

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