Budgeting is a great way to reach your money goals and help you become more knowledgeable about your financial decisions.
At Ameris Bank, we’re with you as you start or reorganize your monthly budget.
Determine your monthly income, or any money that you receive each month from your job or other source. Once you’ve identified your income, create a monthly budget to help ensure your expenses fit within the income you have. Download our budget worksheet which you can edit as needed to fit your lifestyle and habits.
When you spend money, record the expenditure in the “Actual Costs” column under the appropriate category on your budget worksheet. The goal is to only spend what your budget has allotted for.
A helpful way to organize your budget is to identify fixed and variable expenses.
Fixed expenses typically stay the same every month. Examples include your:
- Cell phone bill
- Car payment
Meanwhile, variable expenses can change each month. This may include your:
- Grocery costs
- Gas costs
To determine the amount you should allot for variable expenses, we recommend you track your spending habits for a few weeks. Record the amount you spent using your card statements or by saving your receipts.
From your recordings, you can calculate your average cost on variable expenses. If you’re using the worksheet, put this amount under “budgeted amount” in the column in the appropriate categories.
ADJUST YOUR BUDGET AS NEEDED
After inserting your income and expenses into your budget, you will notice one of three scenarios.
Negative Cash Flow
If your total budgeted costs (expenses) are greater than your total income, then you have negative cash flow. Explore ways to cut costs for next month, including switching to generic brands, carpooling to save on gas, or even cancelling unnecessary subscriptions.
Positive Cash Flow
If your total budgeted costs (expenses) are less than your total income, then you have positive cash flow. This allows you to use additional money for other categories or increase your savings. Check out an Ameris Bank personal savings account.
Flush Cash Flow
If your total budgeted costs (expenses) equal your total income, then you have a flush cash flow. This means that you are sticking to your budget; however, you should still look at ways to lower your expenses so that you can contribute more to your savings account.
Revised April 2023
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.