Budgets & Bills

Creating a Budget

A budget is a tool that is a summary of income and expenses for a given period of time, usually by month. Budgets provide a breakdown of how much money you have coming in and how much money is going out.

 

Having a budget allows you to:

  • Better manage your money

  • Identify where you spend your money

  • See where you are wasting money

  • Prioritize your spending

  • Achieve your financial goals

 

There are many budget tools available online. The one we used in class is the Pennsylvania Career Zone Budget Calculator . This planner allows you to go back and forth and change the amounts to fit your budget. You can also download templates or use special software. Use whatever works best for YOU.

Whether you rent or own, you will have to pay bills. They may include:

  • Housing (rent or mortgage)

  • Utilities: electric, gas, water, sewer, trash, cable, phone

  • Vehicles: car loan payment, car insurance, repairs, AAA service

  • Health: health insurance, doctors, prescriptions

  • Credit cards

  • Bank loans

 

Things to know about paying bills:

  • Most bills are paid monthly and the business will send you a bill either in the mail or online. Your monthly due date will be the same from month to month. For example, your phone bill might be due the 5th of the month.

 

  • It is important to pay your bills on time or you will be charged "late fees". This will also hurt your credit rating/credit score and make it harder for you to borrow money in the future.

  • Some bills are fixed payments, such as car loans and are the same amount each month.

  • Some bills (credit cards) may vary in the amount each month.

  • The electric company will allow you to get on a budget billing cycle. This sets your bill at the same each month or else you will have lower bills in the spring/fall and higher bills in the summer (air conditioning) and winter (heat).

  • You should not pay your bills with cash, however if you must, be sure to get a receipt from the person so you can prove that you paid them.

 

Paying Bills