Mastering the Art of Budgeting


Derek Kyler

Support Advisor

You have crossed the stage, received your diploma, and embarked on the exciting journey of post-graduate life. So now what? As you navigate this new chapter, mastering the art of budgeting is a crucial skill that will set you on the path to financial success.

Why Budgeting Matters

Budgeting is not about restricting your spending; it is about empowering you to make informed financial decisions, achieve your goals, and enjoy yourself in the process. Whether you are paying off student loans, saving for a dream vacation, or planning for the future, a budget provides the roadmap to turn your aspirations into reality.

Getting Started: Assess Your Income and Expenses

The first step in mastering budgeting is understanding your financial landscape. Start by calculating your total monthly income. Next, track your expenses over a month to get a clear picture of where your money is going (the longer period you observe, the more accurate this number will be). Be sure to include fixed expenses like rent, utilities, and student loan payments, as well as variable expenses like groceries, dining out, and entertainment.

Set SMART Financial Goals

With a clear understanding of your income and expenses, it is time to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) financial goals. Whether you are saving for a down payment on a home, building an emergency fund, or paying off debt, articulating your goals will help guide your budgeting decisions and keep you motivated along the way.

Create Your Budget

Now that you know how much you are earning, how much you are spending, and what you are saving for, it’s time to craft your budget. Start by allocating a portion of your income to cover your fixed expenses, then allocate funds for your variable expenses based on your priorities and goals. Do not forget to set aside money for savings/investments and unexpected expenses.

Track Your Spending and Adjust as Needed

Once your budget is in place, it is essential to track your spending regularly and adjust as needed. Use a budgeting app or spreadsheet to monitor your expenses and compare them to your budgeted amounts. I like to have a specific day of the week or month set aside for this so I don’t forget. If you find that you are overspending in certain categories, identify areas where you can cut back or reallocate funds to stay on track.


Mastering the art of budgeting is a valuable skill that will serve you well throughout your life. By assessing your income and expenses, setting SMART financial goals,

creating a budget, tracking your spending, and celebrating your progress, you will be well on your way to achieving financial success. Remember, budgeting is about empowering yourself to take control of your finances and turn your dreams into reality. Here's to your financial journey ahead!

Derek Kyler

Support Advisor

All information is from sources deemed reliable, but no warranty is made to its accuracy or completeness. This material is being provided for informational or educational purposes only, and does not take into account the investment objectives or financial situation of any client or prospective client. The information is not intended as investment advice, and is not a recommendation to buy, sell, or invest in any particular investment or market segment. Those seeking information regarding their particular investment needs should contact a financial professional. Coyle, our employees, or our clients, may or may not be invested in any individual securities or market segments discussed in this material. The opinions expressed were current as of the date of posting but are subject to change without notice due to market, political, or economic conditions. All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Copyright © 2023 Coyle Financial Counsel. All rights reserved.

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