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    Here’s what being a customer-focused company has allowed us to accomplish.

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    Hello there! It seems like you need some assistance. No worries – we’ve got you covered!

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      Give Us a Call

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      Iota's Impact By The Numbers

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      Creating A Budget

      The classic definition of a budget is a list of planned income and expenses incurred on a periodic basis. Many people have a restricted view of budgeting and sometimes think of a budget as a means of limiting their spending. In reality, a well-designed budget can accomplish just the opposite. A budget provides a tool through which a person can assess how various spending choices can help them reach their financial goals.

      Understanding Expenses

      Expenses are essentially everything you pay for; including the refrigerator that unexpectedly needs repair or the savings account you contribute to each month. You may have fixed expenses, like rent or car loans; variable expenses, such as groceries and gifts; and periodic expenses, such as taxes or insurance premiums.

      Should I Create a Budget?

      If you don’t have a good idea of how much money you spend daily, have trouble balancing your checkbook, incur overdraft fees, if you don’t pay your credit card bills in full each month, or are not reaching your financial goals, then you might likely benefit from creating a budget.

      Creating a Basic Budget

      Before you can create a budget, you need to have an understanding of your total income and expenses. This starts with creating a list of all your income sources and expenditures.

      Income

      On a piece of paper, make a listing for Income. Under income, list all your income sources, such as your jobs, allowances, and investment income.

      Expenses

      Use the following steps to calculate your total expenses:

      • Track your expenses every day for a month. To see how, read Tracking Expenses.
      • Make a list of all your fixed expenses and total them. These are the expenses more likely to be considered needs, and hence more difficult to reduce.
      • Below your list of fixed expenses make a list of variable expenses and total them.
      • Add the fixed and variable expense totals to arrive at total expenses.
      • You should have several columns, one for each month. You should keep track of your income and expenses separately for each month. You may also use a spreadsheet or purchase a budgeting software program.
      Shortfall or Surplus?

      Subtract the total income from total expenses to determine your monthly surplus (positive) or deficit (negative).

      Discretionary Expenses

      You may notice that discretionary expenses are not included with the other expenses. Since discretionary expenses are wants and not needs, the amount contributed towards discretionary expenses should ideally be determined after you subtract fixed and variable expenses from income.

      Budget Tools

      The Resource Library has several tools that will make your budgeting easier. Please review the Home Budget Analysis calculator to see which tools might be of help.

      Summary

      The budgeting exercise above should provide you with a good overview of where you stand financially and what changes you may need to make to meet your financial goals and aspirations. It is also important to review your budget periodically to see if you are staying on track and to see if you need to make modifications to your spending plan.

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