For many people, creating a budget is something that is easier said than done. Unfortunately, without a budget, many people quickly fall into financial hardship. Debts pile up, and there is no longer enough income to pay off the principals of those loans. To help, below are eight budgeting tips that can get your financial house in order.
1- Do All the Math
Budgeting involves math. If you don’t calculate your weekly expenses as well as the income you have the spend on those expenses, you do not have a budget. Sit down with some paper and do all the math necessary. Having this knowledge is necessary for being able to budget correctly for each week, month, or even year.
2- Write It Down
One huge mistake people make regarding budgeting is keeping it “in their head.” While you may think you have your budget memorized, the human brain is a tricky thing. You may end up forgetting much of what you planned. Instead, always map out weekly, monthly, and even yearly budgets with a pen or pencil.
3- Create an Emergency Savings Account
One of the biggest pitfalls of budgeting is when things come into play that were not in your budget in the first place. No one can plan for every expense in the upcoming week. For example, you may end up getting into a car crash or an appliance like your dryer may stop working. Opening up asavings account with a few thousand dollars or more will cover these costs.
4- Eliminate Unneeded Expenses
One thing you should do with your budgeting is take the opportunity to make it easier on yourself by lowering your bills. There’s a good chance certain bills are for things you don’t need. If you pay for three streaming services, there’s a good chance you don’t need all three of them. Eliminate the one you watch the least.
5- Bargain to Lower Your Bills
Other bills may be able to be lowered by bargaining with the company in question. A cable company, for example, may be convinced to lower your bill if it means retaining you as a customer. Even a trash collection company may be convinced to lower your bill.
6- Save for the Future
While it may be tempting to spend your paycheck week to week, this is foolhardy. Instead, you must be slowly building up a nest egg for the future. What this future entails should be decided between you and your family. You may need to pay for your children’s future college education. Alternatively, you should also be saving for retirement.
7- Set Aside Money for Entertainment
While revisiting your budget, you may be tempted to slash as much non-necessity spending as possible. However, everyone needs to have fun each week. Instead, make sure to set aside some money to go out each week to eat out, see a movie, or do something else fun with your loved ones.
8- Adhere to Your New Budgeting
Lastly, and certainly very important, is the fact you should stick to your new budget. For many people, this is harder than it may seem. They may get sidetracked by adding expenses that were never budgeted for in the first place. While you may need to make adjustments, do so by adjusting the entire budget. Do not simply add anything without doing the numbers first or you will end up in the red.