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How to Make a Budget

What is a budget?

Think of a budget as a roadmap for your money. It helps you track your income and expenses, set financial goals, and make informed spending decisions. Whether you're saving for a dream vacation, paying off debt, or simply want more control over your finances, budgeting is a powerful tool.

Here's how to get started in 4 easy steps:

1. Define Your Goals:

Before diving in, take a moment to consider your financial aspirations. Are you saving for a house? Building an emergency fund? Jotting down your short- and long-term goals will keep you motivated throughout the budgeting process.

2. Track Your Income:

Understanding your income is crucial. List all your income sources, including salary, side hustles, or rental income. If you have a regular paycheck, note how often you get paid and the average amount per payment period. Self-employed individuals should consider income over the past year to get a good picture.

3. Track Your Expenses:

Now, let's see where your money goes! There are two main categories of expenses:

  • Fixed Expenses: These stay consistent month-to-month, like rent, car payments, and utilities.
  • Variable Expenses: These fluctuate, such as groceries, entertainment, and gas.

Tracking both for a month will reveal your spending habits and potential areas for saving.

Examples of Fixed Expenses

Examples of Variable Expenses

Rent Payment


Car Payments

Heating Bills

Netflix Subscription


Property Taxes


Loan Payments


4. Build Your Budget Plan:

There's no one-size-fits-all approach to budgeting! Here are two popular methods to explore:

  • The 50/30/20 Rule: This method allocates 50% of your income to essential needs (rent, groceries), 30% to wants (entertainment, dining out), and 20% to savings and debt repayment.
  • The Pay Yourself First Method: This prioritizes saving and investing. Allocate a portion of your income towards savings or investments upfront before spending on anything else.


  • The best budget is one you can stick to! Choose a plan that feels realistic and comfortable for you.
  • Regularly review and adjust your budget as needed. Your financial goals and circumstances may change over time.

Ready to take charge of your finances? We can help!

Contact our bank associates or visit one of our many locations and let us help you put together a budget that works perfectly for you!