Money has a purpose. The work you do all day isn’t just for the immediate future – it’s to accomplish long-term goals using a budget. It should be used for something meaningful, and you should be spending meaningfully, even when you’re spending on yourself. The best way to spend meaningfully and meet your goals is to have a budget in place.
Making a budget can be a difficult task, though, not to mention actually sticking to it. Use these tips to help you create this budget with ease and achieve your financial goals!
Make the budget with your partner (or with someone who can hold a single person accountable!). If you’re married or share expenses with a partner, budgeting is something the two of you should do together. Think of every dollar as money you share, not as money you hoard from each other.
If you’re single, use a financial institution, family member, or someone you are close with and trust to help keep you accountable to your budget. Truthfully, budgeting alone is hard, but with the right help, it can be done!
Make this budget complex
Your budget should take into account the complexities of everyday life, and if you’re setting monthly goals, your plan should be different month-by-month. Whether it’s a birthday, holiday, oil change, license renewals, or anything that could come up during the month, try not to let these expenses sneak up on you.
It’s okay if you can’t see every expense in the near future! Despite the month-to-month changes, your budget still should have all the major components – necessities, savings, debt payments, and entertainment – with a little room for things you can’t foresee.
Prioritize your expenses
Where does your money have to go? Make a list of the necessities. Rent or mortgage, food, utilities, clothing, and transportation are necessities. You also have to put in your savings, paying back your debts, and keep some money for less necessary (but much more fun) expenses. This puts a lot of your budget into focus and can help you see your goals as actual, real things.
Make a Budget schedule
A financial schedule is one of the most important parts of your budget. After you’ve finished prioritizing the necessary expenses, try and fit them into a calendar. This way, you know when each bill has to be paid and will help you ensure you have enough money for week by week. Once you have this schedule as air-tight as you can get it, stick to the schedule!
Think about your budget as a positive thing
It’s common to think of a budget as “financial jail”, where you’re paying off your debts and putting money away for expenses that are necessary, not fun. This isn’t a healthy way to think about finances! A good budget will actually allow you more freedom, and you’ll be putting actual money aside for yourself instead of relying on credit to do what you love. You’ll be spending without having to pay for it later, and this way, you’ll feel much less guilty about treating yourself! And let us know how we can help.