Do you have financial goals but don’t know where to start? Setting a budget is the first step to financial success. However, many people will create a budget and fail to stick to the parameters they’ve put in place.
So much for a budget, right?
If managing money is not your forte, consider these five tips to keep you on track:
1. Budget as a Team
If your budget will affect more than one person, include them in the budgeting process. This keeps you and all involved parties on track to achieve the same financial goals. Make sure to set a dedicated time every month—or even quarterly if you’re a pro—to check in and reassess your spending habits.
2. Expect Monthly Differences
Let’s be honest, not every month in the year is created equal. To stay on top of your budgeting, try to predict when you will spend larger amounts due to certain life events. Do you have a month that’s a little birthday-heavy? Summer vacations? Don’t forget those new clothes and back-to-school supplies in August! You know your lifestyle better than anyone else, so try to predict the expenses and budget for them ahead of time.
3. Start with the Essentials
When deciding where to funnel your earnings, try to consider life’s top four essentials. Everyone requires food, shelter, utilities, and transportation. These four necessities in life should be prioritized when creating a budget. After these needs are met, then you can get creative about where to distribute the rest of your funds.
4. Don’t Set it and Forget It
Once you create a budget, it’s common for people to set it aside and let it collect dust. However, your budget should adapt to your lifestyle changes. Did you get a promotion? Congrats! You can now adjust your budget to reflect your new financial goals and lifestyle. Did you have an unexpected medical expense? You might need to look back on your budget and see how you can adjust and accommodate.
5. Online Budgeting Tools
Welcome to the 21st century! While we love a great Excel Sheet as much as the next person, there are helpful apps and software programs that can keep track of your budget for you. Take a look at apps such as Mint, EveryDollar, and Goodbudget to craft a budget in a pinch!
Setting a budget is the first step in a long road of financial possibilities. Believe in yourself and know you are capable of creating positive habits that will help you achieve success in the future.
If owning a home plays a part in your financial goals, The Connecting Hearts to Homes would be happy to assist you when the time comes. We believe real estate is an excellent investment and we’re here to help you achieve your financial and homeownership dreams.