Tips for Successful Budgeting

Tips for Successful Budgeting

The reason for budgeting is to help you spend less than you earn. It’s not fun, but it’s necessary to have healthy finances.
 
Have a goal in mind
Whatever it may be — saving for a house or a home renovation, a dream vacation or an early retirement — it’s important to start with a clearly defined long-term goal. It’s also good to set short-term goals for the day-to-day activities and expenses. Shorter goals help the end-goal seem more attainable.
 
Be realistic
Don’t set huge, unrealistic expectations. Restricting dining out and entertainment entirely will only make you unhappy and could lead to budget failure. Start slow and cut 10% to start with. Then see what impact it has, if any.
 
Use budgeting tools
iBank, Quicken and Money Manager available in SchoolsOnlineSM are all great tools to track how you spend money. Seeing your spending broken down into categories will help you decide where to trim expenses and by how much.
 
Don’t be afraid to adjust
When you’re first starting out with a new budget, you will likely find the need to go back and adjust your original plan. If you don’t notice a 10% cut in dining out, up it to 15% and see how that works. Conversely, if you find you need more money in your grocery budget, tweak another expense to allow for it. You may find the need to adjust many times before you get comfortable.