Whether you choose to budget on a monthly, weekly or daily basis, a budget plan keeps you on track for long-term goals and prevents spending mistakes. Young adults frequently start out with a daily budget plan that they personalize based on needs and priorities.
Track Your Spending
Before you can create and implement a daily budget plan, you need to know where you spend your money. Scrutinize credit card statements, bank statements and cash receipts from the last month or monitor your spending daily for a month. Create a spreadsheet with budget expense categories like groceries, restaurants, clothes and rent. Your finished spreadsheet illustrates where your money is going every month.
Set Your Goal
Decide what you want to get out of your daily budgeting. Maybe it's something long term, like buying a car, or a short-term goal, such as going on a vacation. It could be a continuous goal, like setting aside enough money to pay for a gym subscription every month. You may just want to make it to the end of the month with a little money left over. Identifying a goal helps you stick to your budget when you are tempted to blow your money. Determine how much money you need to set aside each month to reach your goal. Subtract that amount from your average monthly income to determine how much is left to cover all your expenses.
Separate Daily and Irregular Expenses
For the purpose of a daily budget, separate daily expenses from irregular or monthly expenses. For example, meals or groceries, snacks, coffee, parking fees, small personal purchases and entertainment may be expenses you incur on a daily or almost-daily basis. These items are part of your daily budget. On the other hand, you may only pay for rent, utilities, gas and insurance once a month or less frequently. Look at these items as part of your monthly budgeting, not your daily planning. Subtract monthly and irregular expenses from your monthly income. Divide the result by the number of days in the month to calculate your average daily budget. Separate the daily budget total into categories that you have identified best suit your lifestyle.
Log Your Spending
Log your spending every day. Although this can seem time consuming, it quickly becomes a habit, and you can see right away if you're off track. Look for a daily budgeting app for your smartphone or jot down purchases in a small notebook. If you're overspending in one category on a reoccurring basis, re-evaluate your budget. You may need to reallocate the funds of your daily budget differently to better suit your lifestyle. Implementing multiple lifestyle changes at once is difficult, so focus on changing one budget area at a time if you're having trouble living within your budgeted amount. Learn to be aware when you approach your daily limit and stop spending if possible.
- Daily Finance: 8 Steps to Creating a Personal Budget
- Daily Finance: 6 Strategies for Young Adults to Save More
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- Chime. "How to Make a Budget: A Guide to Choosing the Right Budgeting Style." Accessed April 1, 2020.
- University of Kansas. "Section 1. Planning and Writing an Annual Budget." Accessed April 1, 2020.
Based in San Diego, Calif., Madison Garcia is a writer specializing in business topics. Garcia received her Master of Science in accountancy from San Diego State University.