Setting up a budget can seem like an arduous task, but it pays off in the end. Taking the time to track and manage your money can mean financial security, improved credit and better savings. Overall, the key to a healthy financial lifestyle is knowing your budget and staying with in it.
Establishing Your Budget
There are many apps and programs to help you manage your finances, but the truth is a bit of honesty and a paper and pen are all you really need to set things straight. Here are some things you need to consider:
- Cost of household expenses: include everything from groceries and pet food to toiletries and beauty products. If you spend money on it on a monthly basis, it needs to be on your list.
- All bills and credit cards: Make a list of all of your monthly bills and add them up. Everything counts from your mortgage to your magazine subscriptions. Be sure not to leave anything out.
- Make sure to include small items: It’s easy to chalk your morning coffee up to spare change, but those lattes add up. Include all of the splurges you make on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, including lunches out, dinners or drinks with friends. Don’t forget birthday gifts and regular gift purchases for teachers, friends etc.
Once you’ve had a chance to track all of your expenditures, you should have a pretty good idea of where you are overspending. Sometimes all that is required is a tweak here and there to right the ship – eating out less often or making your coffee at home each day. Managing regular expenses such as groceries can be made much easier by establishing a budget at the beginning of the week and sticking to it. Often the simple process of laying out income compared to expenditures can help to pinpoint areas for improvement.
For some, however, the process isn’t quite as simple. If you’ve taken a good look at your finances and still can’t find a solution, we are here to help. We can review your financial portfolio and come up with strategies to get you back in the black. Give us a call today to see how we can help.
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