Although four out of five Americans use a budget to plan their spending, 20 percent of them keep only a mental budget. Putting your budget on paper or in a basic spreadsheet is essential if you want a healthy financial future. Creating a detailed budget is key to managing your finances. An accurate monthly budget can help you reach your financial goals, whether you’re saving for a car, buying a home or paying off student loans. By sticking to a budget, you can save thousands of dollars each year and avoid overspending.
Budgeting may sound complicated, but it can actually be a very basic personal finance skill. Whether you decide to make your budget bare bones or detailed to the last dollar, the most important part of budgeting is to put it into practice. Tracking your spending is essential to managing your budget.
First, let’s test your budgeting knowledge.