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How to Create a Realistic Budget

A budget is one of the most important financial tools in your arsenal, but budgeting isn’t one size fits all. To be successful, your budget should reflect your income and spending and your desires and need to live a balanced life.

Learn to build a realistic budget with these tips from the financial experts at First Boulevard, a Black-owned digital bank with a mission to close wealth gaps and build generational wealth:

Know Your Numbers

Start by gathering all income you receive every month. This should include regular income like paychecks and variable income like money from babysitting or driving for a ride-share company.

Next, outline your expenses, or the things you spend your money on each month. Look at your bank or credit card statements to get a more accurate idea. This includes recurring expenses like your rent or mortgage, utilities, car payments, and subscriptions, as well as variable expenses that may change from month-to-month like entertainment and take-out.

Look for trends in your variable expenses. Be sure to includ