If you’re hoping to gain more control over spending and begin working towards your financial goals, you need a budget. A personal or household budget is an itemized summary of expected income and expenses for a defined period of time, typically one month. While the word budget is often associated with restricted spending, a budget should really mean more efficient spending. A budget will show you how much money you expect to bring in against all of your expenditures from the required expenses like house payments and rent to discretionary spending like entertainment. Instead of viewing a budget as a negative, you can view it as a tool for achieving your financial goals. What a Budget Does As a personal financial planning tool, a written, monthly budget allows you to plan for how you’ll spend and/or save your money each month and also keep track of your spending patterns. Though making a budget may not sound like the most exciting activity (and…    read more