A good budget tells how much you can afford to spend, how much you can save, and when you can make investments for the future. Sound nice?
Too many people give up on budgeting because they are stumped: How can you possibly predict what will happen in the future? Well, you can’t know for sure, but you CAN make a really useful budget that will give you a good place to start.
Here’s the magic formula:
Knowledge of the Past + Knowledge of the Present = Assumptions about the Future
Budgeting can feel like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some helpful tips to get your started.
1. Get back to basics.
The first thing you should tackle is your day-to-day expenses. This includes creating a grocery list to help you stay on track. I’m also using this as a tool to stay on track with healthy eating. Make your list and stick to it. Coupons are also a fantastic way to save a little money. When you sit down and create your grocery list, look through your phone app for coupons for extra savings.
2. Revisit your household budget.
It might have been awhile since you’ve done this, so now is the perfect time to revisit and re-evaluate your household budget. Take a look at what bills you currently have and see if there is any room for you to save money, every dollar saved counts. I utilize the “ask nicely” approach. I called my cable/phone/internet provider and ”asked nicely” if there were any promotions going on that could save me some money. Another approach my husband and I took was considering refinancing our car loans. Auto loan refinancing can potentially lower your interest rate and monthly payment which means more money in our pocket every month.
3. Use technology to help.
It’s so easy for us to carry our phones around all day with us, but never use them to their full potential. Taking advantage of your 1st Financial App which tracks all your spending and will help you stay on budget. Reviewing your statements online helps you see what comes out each month and will help you plan better for the next month. On top of utilizing both of these apps, I also downloaded an easy budget app on my phone to make sure I always have my budget and lists with me. With all of the tools right at our fingertips, there’s really no excuse not to stay on track.
4. Make it a team effort.
To stick to your budget and save money, you need everyone on board. Letting family and friends know that you’re trying to stick to a budget can help them help you. They can hold you accountable to your identified goals and make suggestions for more cost-effective options of having fun when you get together.
5. Remember its ok to slip up.
The road towards any defined goal is unlikely to be a straight upward path of progress. If you splurge a bit, simply see when you’ll be able to set aside a little extra to make up for the slip-up and know that 1st Financial is always there to help keep you on track and get to where you want to be financially.
Lastly, if you’re interested in learning more about budgeting check out 5 Easy Steps to Building a Better Budget.
Until next time,