A budget is a plan that allows you to control your spending and save for the future. Budgeting is the foundation of financial security because you won’t save anything if you’re spending too much. Making a budget is also a way of expressing your priorities in life. Is traveling to a new country every year important to you? Awesome! But you might need to cut down on your fashion purchases in order to afford those trips.
There’s nothing mysterious about making a budget. Simply come up with a number of spending categories, such as groceries, clothing, and dining out, target a spending limit for each category, and stick with your targets. Instead of plucking target numbers out of thin air, it can make sense to first track your spending for a few months and then look for areas where you might be able to trim. (We’re looking at you, takeout.) And you don’t need to be a spreadsheet whiz to get started—there are tons of free apps and websites that can track your spending for you.