Are you tired of being that one friend with $1.34 left in your checking account? There’s good news; you can change your personal finance and it’s probably easier than you may think.

Make a Monthly Budget

This may sound overly simple but making a budget tailored to each month and the events you may have can have an immense impact on your personal finances. According to a Gallup study, only 30% of Americans prepare a detailed household budget meanwhile 49% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. If you don’t have a budget how do you know how much money you make versus how much you spend? It’s easy to see how being under-informed about your monthly financial position could prevent you from paying off debt, saving and investing for your future.

If you’ve never created a budget before here is how you can get started:

  1. Detailing out how much you expect to make that money in income
  2. Then list out how much you expect to spend per month by category.  This may vary by month depending on your social calendar or monthly needs.
  3. Finally, if there is money left over you could allocate this to paying off debt, saving or investing.

It is really that simple to get started. Of course, if you’d like you could make your budget more complicated on a microscopic level but that is a rough guide to get you started. Feel free to check out my budget template guide if you don’t want to make your own or check out Dave Ramsey’s free mobile budgeting app. Freedom in a Budget also has an amazing web series explaining how to create a budget! So there’s no excuse for not having a budget now!

By creating a budget, you can tell your money where to go and how to behave instead of it controlling you. Budget’s give you the freedom to control your money and aid in identifying where you could be wasting money on unnecessary products or services. Budgets can come in many shapes and sizes but the important thing is you get started and make one personalized for you. You own your money, your money shouldn’t own you.