For some, budgeting is something that is hard to successfully do. Paying rent, bills, buying groceries and having spending money can be difficult to manage, especially if you’re a first time renter. If you’re finding it difficult to make ends meet, or have unfavorable spending habits, you might want to consider planning out your finances. The following savings tips and techniques can be used as a foundation to build your financial success.
Creating Financial Goals
Create a goal that is measurable, and make it as specific as possible. Calculate how much you need to save each week or month to reach your savings goal. Say to yourself, “I’m going to save this amount, by this date, by doing this.” Creating this plan is the first step to successful budgeting.
If you don’t already have a budget, there is no better time than now to create one. The key to financial savings is not a secret: sharpen a pencil, open Excel, or download a budgeting tool to help create a strict budget. Write down your monthly fixed costs such as rent, car payment, loans and groceries. These costs will not change month to month. Subtract your fixed costs from your paycheck; this way you know how much money you actually have available.
Now write down your variable expenses for the month such as the electric bill, eating out, and entertainment. Now ask yourself if there is a more purposeful way you should be spending your money. Dollars saved by cutting your excess spending translate into more dollars in your savings account. Don’t forget to budget some money for fun activities during the month!
If you’re the type of person that likes to see your money being spent, putting your money away in envelopes may be the best savings option for you. First, write out your budget and categorize it according to expenses. Then, label a few envelopes and fill them with the appropriate amount of cash.
Make sure to buy a safe to keep the money in that only you have access to. This way you can physically see how much money you are overspending. If you prefer to have things at the palm of your hand, consider downloading a mobile app. This will keep help you keep track of your budget in real time and alert you if you’ve overspent.
Mint Budgeting App
Looking for an app to help you budget? Try the Mint app. It puts all your accounts in one place so you can track spending, make budgets, and even receive tips on ways to save money. Connect the app with your banking, credit, and investing information to create a personalized budget. Mint is owned by Intuit, the makers of TurboTax and Quicken, so you can trust that your accounts are secure.
The hardest part about budgeting isn’t choosing which style to use, but taking the first step towards a budgeting plan. Take the time to invest in yourself and you will be able to conquer financial stability in no time. What are some tips you have on sharing money or budgeting better? Share your ideas in the comments below!