Step One: Calculate Your After_Tax Income. Your after_tax income is what remains of your paycheck after taxes are taken out, such as state tax, local tax, income tax, Medicare, and Social Security. If you're an employee with a steady paycheck, your after_tax income should be easy to figure out. Look at your paystubs. If health care, retirement contributions, or any other deductions are taken out of your paycheck, add them back in.
Why Is Budgeting Important? A budget a powerful tool because it allows you to determine how and where you want to spend your money. When you master budgeting, you make sure that every dollar is being used how you want it. If you have a budget, you can track your spending and determine if it is matching your priorities. Often when people start budgeting they are surprised to see how much money is going to things that are not important to them, like eating at fast food restaurants or paying for conveniences. Budgeting allows you to monitor your progress on goals and make sure you are sticking to your financial plan.