Writing out a budget on a monthly basis is critical for anyone that wants to get ahead of their finances and get their debts caught up. Budgeting helps you avoid wasting money on extra charges and late fees and it helps to show you how you could start saving money without having to cut out some of the major things in your life.
Budgeting should be based on both short-term and long-term goals and should be designed using the following 5 steps to ensure proper success:
- Add up all of your income and expenses. Take a look at how much you are bringing home, after-tax, and how much you’re spending. This is going to take a while and you may find that you’ll have to do it in sections and continue to add to it over the course of a few days. There are a lot of expenses that you may not think of right away so keep your budget a bit flexible at first while you are continuing to add on the expenses.
- Include everything. Small amounts can really add up so make sure that you write down everything that you are spending money on. For example, if you buy coffee every day for work and only spend two dollars on it, over the course of the month that can add up to $40 or more. When you have a few small items that add up to $40 per month, they quickly add up to more than $100.
- Plan for the unexpected. Don’t expect your budget to be a 100% perfect since life does happen and unexpected things will come up. Put some money aside every month that can be used to deal with unexpected situations as they occur.
- Reduce your expenses. Look for different ways to reduce your spending in order to pay off your debts quickly or to simply have more money in your pocket at the end of the month. There are a lot of little things you can do such as exercising at home instead of at the gym, buying things on sale, turning down the heat in your home when you’re away at work during the day, etc.
- Make payments on time. Make sure that you have a list of payment dates for all of your credit cards and other types of debts and always pay them on time. If you run into any type of problem, it’s best to take a look at a payday loan to make sure that your payments are made in a timely fashion so that your credit score isn’t affected.
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