Glancing back about a year, you can remember the five tips that were given to help you budget during the holiday season. While this is great information to follow once the winter months roll around, there are also ways that you can continue to budget, year round.
Here are five tips that can help you build the budget that you can stick to:
1. Know the comings and goings
This may take some time and digging through paperwork, but this may be the most important part of building a budget: knowing what is coming in and out every month. This means calculating, at least on average, how much you bring in every month, and adding together the total of all of your bills. Subtracting your monthly payments from your income will give you an overview of several things: where the majority of your money goes, where cuts can be made, and how much you are able to stick into savings.
2. Be realistic and be specific
While it can be helpful to utilize budget planners, budget challenges and/or ones made and shared by individuals, it is important to remember that whatever budget you stick to has to pertain directly to you, your finances and your goals. So, it may be better to take inspiration from the budgets that you find than to copy them directly.
3. Make cuts where cuts should be made
Operative word: should. When looking at your comings and goings, you may notice that there are areas where you are unnecessarily overspending. At the same time, you may see high priced bills for things that you are thoroughly using each and every month. Just because you are spending a lot on something does not mean it’s unnecessary. An effective cut could be anywhere from eating out more than cooking, to decreasing the amount of channels you get from your cable provider. Look for things that are not moving you towards your goals instead of cutting only bills with larger numbers attached to them.
4. Remember: saving is a priority
After looking over the overview of your finances, you may or may not find yourself in a position where saving a lot of money every month is not possible. Still, you must remember that even saving a small amount monthly is better than nothing at all. To make saving a little easier, factor in an amount that you feel comfortable saving each month as a bill, and pay yourself first. This enables you to both build discipline in putting money aside and to save consistently.
5. Utilize online and mobile banking
Online banking and mobile banking apps, like those of Florida Capital Bank, both have tips and features that can help you on your journey to save. Through your bank’s mobile app, you can set up limits, notifications and restrictions to what you spend. You can also use these tools to schedule payments, reminders and automatic transfers. All you’d have to do is set up what is important to you, and technology takes care of the rest.
Budgeting is not simple—but, it is made harder when you are not organized in what you are trying to do. With these five tips, you can go through this year (and the next, and the next) with a strong foundation on how to make and stick to a budget that works for you.