The Best Way To Budget Your Money
Published: March 10, 2019
Coming up with a budget seems simple enough, right? You subtract your monthly expenses from your monthly income and figure out what to do with the remainder. Sticking with a budget can be easier said than done, however. The good news is that there are some tips you can follow to better budget your money starting today!
Know Where You Stand
Don't make the mistake of estimating your monthly income. Take a minute to sit down and calculate it. Even if you're a salaried employee, you'll want to know exactly what your take-home pay is after taxes and other deductions. If you're an hourly employee or self-employed, your income will likely fluctuate a bit more so you'll want to look at a few months' worth of pay information to determine your average monthly income.
Factor in Your Expenses
Next, it's time to subtract your monthly expenses from your income. It can be helpful to separate your expenses into "necessities" and "extras." Your rent and heat/electricity bills, for example, are necessities. Your unlimited phone data plan and your Netflix subscription, on the other hand, may be considered "extras." If your monthly expenses are eating up more of your budget than you'd like, look for ways to cut back on the extras. This might mean, for example, bringing your lunch to work instead of going out each day.
Set Spending Limits
Be wise about the money you have leftover and set spending limits for yourself. A good way to curb spending is to give yourself an "allowance" of sorts. Each week, take out the amount of cash that you'll allow yourself to spend. Using cash instead of a credit or debit card can help cut back on unnecessary spending.
Don't Forget About Savings
Not all of your leftover money needs to be spent. Make sure you're allocating enough into a retirement fund and savings account! Ideally, you'll want to have enough set aside in your savings account to cover all your expenses for up to three months as a type of "emergency fund”. Budgeting can be like an effective work-out program, it requires diligence and discipline. Fortunately, by following these tips and making sure you have savings and retirement accounts that are working for you, you'll be in good shape. Contact Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union to start budgeting better today.