Our resources are limited. You cannot possibly buy everything with the amount of money you earn. It takes a brilliant strategy to manage finances in the present that can withstand the future. Our peers may entice us to spend our money lavishly, but the 40th United States president, Ronald Reagan, once told us: “Balancing your budget is like protecting your virtue. You have to learn when to say no.”
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What Is a Budget Form?
Whether an employer or an employee, budgeting your finances is a must. It is an important aspect such that the inability to do so puts your financial capacity at risk. The breadwinner in the family working in the corporate world must practice how to manage the monthly salary to pay for expenses such as food, electric and water bills, rental fees, school fees, allowance for kids, and so on. He or she should allocate some of the money for savings in cases of emergency and immediate need. Similar to how we are addressing climate change issues by sustainable measures, it gives employees peace of mind to have financial security.
On the employer’s end, the process of budgeting is a vital aspect to keep the business in operation. Especially entrepreneurs who, most probably, have no investors yet, the budget plan allows them to allocate funds for expenses, analyze expenditures, and anticipate the cost for the needs of the business. Thus, the budget form serves as a guide for a user to allocate his or her money correctly. By doing so, it minimizes the tendency of going into debt. If you use a debit card, loans can hurt your credit score, which can affect future transactions. The overall gist of budgeting is to keep your life secured in terms of financial capability.
Strategy in Action: Different Types of Business Budgeting
In the business world, it is impossible not to apply for a loan. For a business startup, one needs to have a capital. Once you have an established business already, the process of budgeting becomes crucial such that it can save you from getting bankrupt. In this section, the four common types of budgeting are the following:
An Increment a Year
The most common type of budgeting is simple. You compute for last year’s budget and then either subtract or add a percentage for you to calculate the current year’s budget. Most stable businesses may use this method because it is useful if the direct source of cost remains unchangeable.
From the name itself, the primary basis of the budgeting plan is from the activities that a company may implement within the year to meet the target. The senior management team usually carries out this task. After the determination of the activities, the determination of the cost comes next.
The other budgeting methods may include some expenses that add no return investment to the company. If you need to eliminate the chances of such occurrence to happen, the value proposition budgeting comes to the rescue. In this budgeting method, it ensures how each component becomes valuable to the company and avoids unnecessary expenses that may put the company’s financial status at risk.
Starts From Scratch
Perhaps, this method is one of the most challenging budgeting plans for the business. It makes use of starting from scratch principle such that you make the budget considering all the departments have zero funds. It is quite strict on making unsolicited cash flows because you have no previous balance. This kind of approach works well when the business is at risk.
Tips and Tricks of Budgeting Your Finances
The struggle of looking for money is equally the same challenge as controlling yourself to spend money. With the practical marketing approaches of businesses today, it is hard to stop yourself from asking about the product and eventually purchasing it. You are not alone in this endeavor. In the 2019 poll of Debt.com, 67% of American respondents said that their family is on a budget. The number is lower by 3% in the 2018 survey. Worry not, in this section you can find some tips and tricks on budgeting that will help you make a practical budget plan.
Tip No. 1: Set Realistic Saving Goals
The most successful way to achieve your goals is to make it as realistic as possible. Try to evaluate your options if you can avoid some expenses by not purchasing the items. If it is your first budgeting your money, do not expect big savings. Aside from that, do not forget to allocate some funds for miscellaneous fees.
Tip No. 2: Stay Away from Debts
If possible, do not resort to debts. If you are in a scenario where you can apply for a loan anytime; chances are you will spend more than what you can pay on time. It is important to understand that there are different interest rates of a loan. Those with a high-interest rate makes you pay more than the original cost of an item. Use loans for immediate needs such as a downpayment for surgery or similar scenarios. A friendly reminder when applying to loans is that you must do your calculations first before doing submitting the loan application.
Tip No. 3: Celebrate Small Success
Although you need discipline in budgeting, it does not mean you restrict yourself from celebrating. It is good to have a checkpoint wherein you spend a little on the achievement. For example, if you can accumulate $40, you will treat yourself with ice cream or any favorite food or activity that you enjoy doing.
These three tips can help you plan your budgets more effectively. Thomas Edison once said, “Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets planning.”
How To Create a Budget Form
In your early childhood days, you probably did some budgeting with the amount of allowance your parents give you. If your family is struggling financially, you probably did part-time jobs to provide you the money to spend on school works. This simple example does not require a budget form because you can easily manage a limited number of expenses. The scenario changes once you involve yourself in business or have kids to feed. The more people covered by your money expenditure, the higher is the necessity to create a budget form.
Step 1: Utilize a Spreadsheet Program
The use of spreadsheet technology can help reduce the time to compute changes in your estimation. It will take time to use the calculator over again if you think reducing the amount allocated for a particular aspect works better. With spreadsheets, you only need to input the number on a cell with a formatted formula. If you put a different number, the cells connected to the equation makes the necessary changes in the blink of an eye.
Step 2: Indicate the Amount of Salary or Expected Cash on Hand
You can never budget for something without money. In making a budget form, do not forget to place a section where you can indicate the amount of salary, especially employees. If you have no side business, the only source of income is the basic pay amount signed before employment and some incentives, if applicable. Managing the salary is vital because you might not have enough money to pay for food the next week.
On the other hand, business owners usually loan from banks. This money, referred to as capital or principal amount, is helpful in spending on the company’s production process before hitting the market. Customers would prefer to try your product if you can provide them a sample. Perhaps, you might notice how newly opened establishments offer promos on their first day.
Step 3: Identify the Primary Expenses
Where will your expenses go? A question that you should answer before you create a budget form because every item on the list will have their respective field. Aside from the basic needs such as food, shelter, and water, you have other aspects to consider on the list. Such expenses may include but not limited to subscription, health care, transportation, pet care, and entertainment fees.
Step 4: Arrange the Expenses According to Priority
Sorting the expenses depending on priority would also help you in estimating the amount. Putting the exact amount is not a requirement. By giving a rough estimate, you would understand which among the list of expenses has the highest percentage. If ever you noticed that in a specific aspect that there is a remainder, you can adjust the estimated easily with a spreadsheet. Once you have the final list, you can input the field name and the corresponding formula in a cell.
Step 5: Verify the Data
Because we are dealing with money in a budget form, a signature is essential. Even if it is only a proposed budget, the verification of data is a must component. It also helps the evaluator to understand who was the person responsible for the digits on the form. In cases of budget proposals, the justification of the allocated amount happens before approval. If you are doing the budget for family use, then a signed form together with the date signed helps you identify a task finished.
Step 6: Label the Form and Polish
The budget form does not need creative powers to have an impact. The essential aspects lie in the amount stated on the form. However, an important element to remember is to label the form. Indicate the title. If possible, you can explain the purpose of the budget form. You can try to check the spelling of the words or calculate the amount from each field to avoid miscalculations.
Imagine winning a lottery today. With such a large amount of money in your hands, the most challenging question would be on how you would spend the money. You can either spend it on everything until your money lasts, or you can budget the money according to present and future needs. While budgeting requires time, the benefits of planning future financial transactions can save you from getting into debt.
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