August 14, 2019
It’s easy to say you’re going to budget, but truly starting to budget is where it becomes challenging. Budgeting can be hard for a few reasons. Maybe you feel like you make plenty of money so you always have enough for your needs and your wants. Or it could be the opposite, and you feel like you don’t have enough and budgeting just won’t change anything. Or you could be somewhere in between. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, you can benefit from a budget!
Here are 7 easy things you can do to build a budget and have a plan for every dollar!
- Build your budget before each paycheck. Some people get paid once a month, others every two weeks and some may be self-employed and see money irregularly. Right before each paycheck you receive, sit down and look at all upcoming expenses you have to use your paycheck for. List out bills for loans and other things you absolutely have to pay first, then your groceries and gas and finally include a little fun money. Make sure to also decide how much you’re going to save, and take the steps to move it to your savings account. Do this before you set aside your fun money. Don’t leave even $10 unaccounted for - have a plan for every last penny.
- Track every expense. You won’t realize how many impulse purchases you are making until you do this. Those few coffees, a Target run here and there and late night ice creams, they all seem insignificant but they add up. Be conscious of these and review your checking account for all the unplanned purchases you made.
- Be realistic about your budget. Making your groceries section smaller so you can put more money into your entertainment section is not doing you any good. Be honest about how much you have to spend on groceries to make enough meals for the week. If you aren’t realistic with where your money needs to go, you’ll end up overspending or discouraged when you need to spend more than budgeted in order to have food on the table.
- Make logical changes to your budget. When you realize something isn’t working with your budget, change it. When you initially set a budget you aren’t stuck to that same one forever. You’ll need to make adjustments as things that have a financial impact on your life occur.
- Have a category in your budget for the unexpected. Setting aside a little from each paycheck for things that you can’t plan for happening will help. Chipping in for a birthday cake for a coworker, donating money to fundraiser that’s important to you, extra gas, etc. These things happen, so set aside a little extra for when they do.
- Be okay with making mistakes. You won’t be perfect and it might be hard and that’s okay! Don’t let one mistake make you throw out your budget for the rest of the month. Make it work and forgive yourself. Keep sticking to it and you’ll see your spending habits change over time. The best part is, you’re still budgeting in for fun things every month. You can build a budget, save money and still enjoy life!
- Open a savings account at Greater Iowa Credit Union! A Primary Share savings account at GICU takes just $5 to open and maintain. Once you have more than $50 in your account you start earning dividends! We can’t wait to help you grow your savings!
Get on the path to a healthier financial life today by following the 7 tips we just shared with you. They require a little footwork and more conscious decision-making, but they’re well worth it. Getting your finances in order gives you peace-of-mind and a more joyful life! At GICU we are always happy to help you! Don’t hesitate to call us or stop in and let us know what we can do for you!
- financial behaviors
- financial goal
- financial planning
- money management