NDSU Extension - Dickey County


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Creative Budgets & #auditing

 Breana Kiser, Agriculture and Natural Resource Agent

MoneyI made a mistake last week, I was in Aberdeen for an appointment and I needed to kill some time. I was close to Target and decided I could wander around for a while and just browse. A full cart and a sad wallet later I pushed my purchases out of Target to my car. Does anyone else struggle when going to their favorite store of having a set budget? I know I sure do. One of my goals I am making for myself is to get my finances on track and create a budget I can stick to. A team of Extension Agents on NDSU’s campus created a program this fall called #Adulting. As a recent college grad still trying to figure out this “adult” thing I thought they would be the perfect resource for my budgeting woes. The #adulting team breaks down budgeting into 4 simple steps.

Step 1: Determine your income. Include all sources of income, including wages from your job, financial aid, or scholarships.

Step 2: Determine your expenses. What are your expenses every month? Include items like a car payment, food, entertainment, gas, and others.

Step 3: Check to see how you’re doing. Are your expenses higher than your income? Do you need to cut expenses?

Step 4: Track your spending every month. Your budget may look good on paper, but if you don’t see what you spend and keep track you don’t know if you are really sticking to your budget.
The #adulting website has great printable resources for you to draw out your budget and get it on paper.  If you are more tech savvy and prefer your budget at the tip of your fingers here are some great apps out there that can help you.

Wally lets you manually log your expenses and store pictures of receipts all within a well-organized and beautiful virtual budget journal.

With Unsplurge, you save with a motivation in mind. The app lets you track your spending while helping you set a goal for something you want to purchase.

With this app you connect your bank account and Mint together. Mint uses your details to create your personalized budget. Another benefit is that Mint will provide tips to help you reduce the unnecessary spending.
There are many ways to approach creating a budget. Its important to find the tools that will work the best for you. If you have a young adult in your life, or like me, you trying to navigate adulthood, I recommend checking out the NDSU  #adulting website and Facebook page.


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