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Making a budget (that you can actually stick to!) is one of the most important parts of personal financial success. If you’re not planning ahead, it’s likely that you’re overspending in certain areas. We tend to forget that those little purchases can really add up over time. Just a little latte here, a ride share there. It’s a good idea to actually sit down and make a budget for yourself that takes into account both your true income and your necessary expenses.
Try a a Zero-Based Budget
This doesn’t mean you have to spend every cent on bills, it just means that you should know in advance where your money will be going before the month begins.
Try Cash-Only Spending
If you have trouble sticking with a budget when you have credit and debit cards to use, try a cash-only system.
If you have a spouse or partner, make sure you’re sitting down together to do the budget so you both know what you’ll need to stick to.
Check In Daily
Take a minute each day to check your financial transactions. This way, you’ll catch any errors or overspending.
Treat Every Month Differently
Every month is not made equally. You’ll have different expenses in December than you do in April, most likely.
Start with the Necessities
When you’re budgeting for the month, make sure you start with the necessities such as rent or your mortgage, utilities and food.
Plan Your Savings
You should not just rely on what’s left over at the end of the month to increase your savings account balance. Instead, plan out how much will be going into savings.
Plan for Wiggle Room
It’s not like you can know exactly how much your utilities are each month, so it’s a good idea to plan a little bit of a buffer in your budget.
Whether it’s a paper planner or a phone app, don’t be afraid to use tools to help you plan your budget.
Try, Try Again
Just because you fail to meet your budget goals one month doesn’t mean you should give up.
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