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Budgeting 101

Mar 05, 2021
budget

Building a budget can seem like a big task, but here’s some handy tips to get you started!

 

Write it down!

  • Keep a notebook just for budgeting, and at the start of each month, plan out what you have coming in, and what you have going out.   There are also budget apps out there if you want to go electronic! 
  • Make sure to look at dates! When do you get paid? How much do you get? When is each bill due? How much is due?  This can help you plan out where each paycheck is going.
  • Keeping track of income and expenses will help you know where and when you are spending your money.
  • Make sure to write down those easy to forget automatic payments! Netflix, the gym, a website subscription – those costs can add up and surprise you when they pull from your account

What goes in a Budget?

  • Rent or Mortgage, phone, cable, insurance, electric … if it’s a monthly service or obligation, make sure it goes in your budget.
  • Loan payments, credit cards, other debt
  • Groceries, gas and misc household expenses, including entertainment/fun money. 
  • Subscriptions, memberships, donations … don’t just ‘set it and forget it’, put it in your budget so it doesn’t sneak up on you
  • Don’t forget your savings! If you have goals to save for education, vacation, emergencies, retirement, etc, make sure to include that in your monthly budget.

 

Remember:

  • Know how much you can spend in each bucket, and stick to it.
  • Have extra funds at the end of the month? Before you spend them, think about what you want your budget to help you accomplish. 
  • Looking to pay down debt? Put that leftover $$ toward a credit card balance.  Extra payments will help to bring down your debt faster, giving you more flexibility in the long run.
  • Looking to build savings? Use the extra $$ to pay future you – bank that money into a savings account so you can reach your goals faster.