Did you know that around 55 percent of Americans do not use a budget to manage their income? Whether you’re looking to start budgeting or want to take your skills to the next level, there are always tips and tricks to follow.
Creating a solid budget isn’t tricky, but sticking to one is. Luckily for you, this guide covers both and more helpful budgeting advice.
Ready to handle your finances better than ever? Let’s get started.
How to Create a Budget
Think of what you want to accomplish financially in the next few years. Before you sit down and open your spreadsheet, you’ll need to make a list of your values and set your goals. This will help you organize what matters to you and keep you on track.
Once you understand why making a budget is important for you, you can get down to the nitty-gritty. Determine your income, excluding overtime pay.
Then, determine your expenses. Look over your credit card statement, receipts, and anything that shows your spending habits. There are fixed expenses, like rent or student loan payments, easy to determine. Flexible expenses, such as food and entertainment, vary monthly.
Once you have your income and expenses, you can create the budget. Think of it as a spending plan. You’ll know how much money you have, where it needs to go, and how much you have leftover. Meet your needs first and then wants later.
One of the best ways to improve your finances is to find a way to put away money for savings. If you have trouble putting money away, there are plenty of ways to increase your savings.
How to Keep To a Budget
So many people have a hard time keeping to a budget because they aren’t realistic. When you set up your financial goals, make sure it’s reasonable. If you don’t have the time or income to make a certain amount of money, don’t make it a short-term goal.
You’ll want to challenge yourself to succeed, but it needs to be realistic. Learn to spend better and save more but don’t go overboard.
Create a weekly plan to help you spread your savings and set up an auto-payment system for your bills, so you aren’t tempted to use that money on unnecessary items.
With online shopping growing more popular, you’ll need to remember that having a budget doesn’t mean you can’t purchase that item; it just means you’ll need to wait until you have the finances to do so.
If you need more than self-motivation to keep to a budget, create weekly alarms to ‘check in’ and see how you’re doing. This will serve as a reminder to stay on track.
Useful Budgeting Advice
There’s a myriad of benefits to having a budget, from helping you achieve financial goals to reducing unnecessary stress. With that said, finding the motivation to get started is tough. With our free budgeting advice, you can take the first steps in your budgeting journey.
It’s a big decision to make, and although you’ll need to put some time into it, it’ll be worth it in the end.
Looking for more articles like this? Be sure to check out the Finance section of our blog!