Information from the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions


A budget is a plan of how you will spend your money. Budgeting is not just about pinching pennies but rather creating a plan to reach your financial goals.

How Budgeting Helps

  • Help Reach Your Goals
    Budgeting helps you save for things like a car, a home, or a vacation.
  • Control Spending
    With a budget, you can avoid overspending and make smarter choices with your money.
  • Get Rid of Debt
    By sticking to a budget, you can pay off debt faster and improve your credit score.
  • Save for Emergencies
    A budget can help you prepare for those unexpected expenses.
  • Save for Your Future
    Dedicating money to saving and investing helps you save for your future.

Steps to Creating a Budget

Creating a budget doesn't need to be complicated. Here are some steps to get started.

  1. Estimate Your Monthly Income

    List all the money you make each month from your job, side gigs, or any other sources.

  2. Identify and Estimate Your Monthly Expenses
    Look at your expenses from the past month and calculate how much you typically spend each month.

    Write down everything you spend money on, from rent and groceries to eating out and entertainment.

  3. Create Your Budget
    Now that you know your income and expenses. Create a budget using a worksheet, spreadsheet, or app. Make sure that your essential bills are budgeted first. 

Budgeting Tips for Success

  • Automate Savings
    Set up automatic transfers to your savings account so you don’t have to think about it.
  • Get Everyone Involved
    Budgeting is easier when everyone in your household is on board.
  • Stay Flexible
    Your budget might need adjusting as your circumstances change.
  • Try Budgeting Apps or Online Tools
    There are several apps and tools available to simplify the budgeting process. 

Budgeting Resources

Budgeting Worksheets and Apps

Budgeting Guides and Tips

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