Top Tips for Budgeting
By Alicja Gruntowicz
Finanical Security Advisor
A recent study showed that only “53 per cent of us could cover an emergency expense costing $400 without selling something or borrowing money.” That means there are countless others who simply do not make enough or who are also overspending. The number one rule to financial success is to spend less than you earn. Here are some tips to assist you in managing your money.
Track Spending. Consciously track every dime you spend over the course of a full week. This will be eye-opening as it will show you how spending even small amounts of money adds up. It will also reveal areas of spending that would otherwise go unnoticed.
Set Goals: The goal of a budget is to help us control our spending so that we can spend less than we make and focus or direct our money to what matters most to us.
Create a Plan. Sit down, think through and write your budgeting plan. By setting realistic actions and amounts for spending and an attainable deadline, you and your family can better manage debt, expenses and savings.
Trim Expenses. Since most of our time is spent on keeping up with life, we often do not pay close attention to where we are leaking out money. Knowing exactly where you are spending means you can now make conscious decisions to change habits and trim items or substitute them for more aware choices.
Meal Planning and Bulk Buy. Buy Bulk and preplan your weekly meals: Sit down with your family and make a plan to buy once a week for the entire week of meals. This will save you time and money each day. We all know how we go to the store for three things and come home with all kinds of extra items. If it’s not on the list, don’t purchase it.
Pack Lunch and Host Friends. Remember that the goal of budgeting is to spend less and save more. One great way to do that is to take a lunch to work, and instead of going out for meals with friends host potluck meals and stay in. Spending time at home and in the kitchen with great friends will be a valuable and fulfilling experience.
Review and Adjust. A budget is not static. It is important to review it regularly and make adjustments. Are you on track to meet your goals? Do you need to make modifications? Have you already achieved certain goals? Keep a keen eye on the financial destination and focus on getting there.
Your money is meant to work for you, so take hold of where you are today and start directing it where it best serves you. Being proactive means it’s your plan, your way!
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