March 19, 2018
Are you tired of living paycheck to paycheck? Budgeting can help prevent difficulties with making ends meet and yet according to Debt.com, only about 32% of Americans have a household budget. Perhaps even more surprising, recent research shows only 34% of college students report having taken a personal finance course.
Follow these budgeting tips from our Accounting Supervisor Sheila Lindelien to educate yourself on how to successfully set and follow a budget.
Understand how much money is coming in
To truly figure out how much money you can spend, first you must understand how much money is coming in. Maintaining a bank ledger can be tedious but you can’t know what you can afford until you have an idea of how the money you are earning flows through your account.
Know what you can afford
A big factor in budgeting is being able to determine what you can afford vs. what you want to be able to afford. You may be accustomed to going out to eat every day but if you find yourself running short on other bills, you may need to cut back on how often you go out to eat.
Create a budget
So how do you come up with a budget? Most banks have online banking tools and apps that can help you keep track of your money. Some offer budgeting tools and apps as well. Or you can opt for a more traditional method and create a spreadsheet. Click here for an example budgeting worksheet.
… And stick to it
Unexpected expenses are inevitable and it is OK to make changes as needed to make the budget work. But once your budget is set and works for you it is important to stick to it to see financial results. It may be difficult at first but you will eventually become accustomed to this new budget.
You can check out local schools, churches and other organizations to see if they offer any financial courses. Some of which may even be free!