Let’s Talk About the Budget

Hi everyone, how are you all!? Thanks for reading and supporting my continuing journey of surviving college and becoming a physician.

As we are all aware, spring break is over and with that comes the home stretch for the end of this semester. It’s back to hard work for all of us meaning it is important to stay motivated and determined.

For this blog I will talk about my personal finance course and the useful things I have learned during the semester. Dealing with finances can be difficult, especially when it includes dealing with; insurance, tuition, scholarships/grants, food, gas, medical bills, etc. To stay on top of things, it is important to construct a dynamic budget that helps you keep track of what you make and what you spend.

To begin, it is important to determine how much many you have coming in, this will be your income. Primarily income comes from employment of some type. Finding out how much you make is crucial to figuring out how much you can spend/save. After finding your income, you will need to determine your expenses.

Expenses come in two flavors, fixed and variable. Fixed expenses are expenses that are the same amount each month, like a monthly bill of some sort. Variable expenses change through time depending on circumstances. For instance, gas is variable because you tend to use more of it in the summer to travel and more during the winter to heat up your cool ride.

Along with expenses, it is important to determine financial goals as well. Financial goals are goals that include spending/saving money towards something desired. They can be a new car, new home, new pet, or paying off debit. Splitting these goals into payments per month for a certain amount of time can let you see if your making enough to take on these goals. For instance, say I want to buy a new car that costs $15,000.00 and I can get promotion where I pay it off in 72 months without interest. Essentially, I can now split my $15,000 into 72 payments, which means that I will pay $208.33 a month. If my budget shows me that I have $400 extra cash per month, that’s great for me!

Now that we have all the components for our budget we need to find a good program to put them in. This is where Microsoft Excel comes into play. A very useful data analysis and calculation program, Excel allows you to complete mathematical operations to keep data neat and tidy. For those not familiar with Excel, the Priddy Library is offering workshops throughout the semester in the basics of Excel, which is all you will need for basic budget building. Once you have Excel open, you can organize your budget as you would like, using the built-in Excel program’s calculation function that will do the math for you!!

I highly recommend taking FMSC 341: Personal Finance. Even if you are financially savvy, you will learn a lot taking this course. It covers investment to retirement and everything in between. Professor Knight will make sure you leave the class ready to tackle the financial world we live in.

As always, thanks for reading and I hope at least someone out there learned something new. Take care and see you in two weeks!

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