Skip to main content

Achieve your goals with budgeting

Most of us have financial goals. You may be saving up for that long overdue vacation, that new car, or just a rainy day fund. You may also be trying to balance your budget. But do you have a plan to reach those goals? If not, I would like to suggest budgeting as your first step. There are many advantages to doing this. I will go in-depth in this article to explain.

Balancing your finances

Before you can start saving you need to balance your budget. Are you spending more than or close to all of your earnings? If so you need to develop a game plan. First calculate all of your expenses each month. If they are greater than your income you need to cut unnecessary expenses.

You can cut unnecessary expenses in several ways. Not all of them require giving up the things you enjoy. If you eat out frequently consider cooking at home. If you're paying for extra monthly services you don't use you should consider disabling them. There may be a free alternative to many commercial solutions you subscribe to.

Creating a budget

Once you eliminate unnecessary expenses and are able to save [even a little] you should budget for the rest of your expenses. Figure out how much you are spending on monthly bills, gas, groceries, etc. Set aside this amount of money each money in a place you cannot spend from. This will ensure you won't be short on any bills or basic needs by accidentally overspending.

Most large banking institutions do not come with great budgeting tools up front. If you need help with this there are many services available electronically. You can find apps, websites, and even some newer banks dedicated to helping you track and budget your money. Simple is a great example of a bank that's focused on saving and budgeting. Mint is another popular website/app people commonly use.

Creating a savings

After creating a budget you will see exactly how much money you have left each month. This is when you can decide how much you should save and what you would like to save for. Make a list of all the things you need to save for first, then decide the appropriate amount to save based on your new budget.

After that you should also consider creating a rainy day fund. This will cover both unexpected expenses that occur and other things you would like to buy. I find most people are able to handle their monthly expenses just fine, but unexpected expenses can easily push them into debt. It's important to work towards a rainy day fund.

I believe one of the most effective savings plans for people who are just starting is the 52-week challenge. You can do this by saving an amount of money that correlates to the amount of weeks you've been saving. For example on week 1 you save $1, on week 5 you save $5, and on week 51 you save $51. After 52 weeks you will have an extra $1,378 in savings.

This is effective because it doesn't demand a large amount of money up front. Your new budget will have time to take effect before you are expected to save a decent amount of money each week.

I hope these tips and tricks help you to get on track financially and begin saving for the things you really want.


Popular posts from this blog

How to be a productive employee

Have you ever wondered if you're a productive employee? Maybe you haven't joined the workforce yet and are curious what it's like to work in the business world. I talk to people on many different paths and also work with young adults that are largely curious what it's like to join the workforce. I believe I have an advantage here in that I've spent an equal number of years in both the business world and education. Here are a few tips to help you when you get started or to improve upon your current practices.

Understanding metrics
These metrics are often called key performance indicators (or KPIs) in business. They're a way to quantifiably measure your success as an employee. The metrics will change depending upon your role in an organization. A social media manager might be responsible for a certain number of conversions per quarter for example. A programmer might be responsible for launching a project by a specific deadline. Normally defining the KPIs is not …

How to lose weight

Want to lose weight this year? Every body is different, so there is a trial and error period you have to go through when you're starting a diet to figure out what works for you. In this article I'll give you some common tools you can use, broken down by category. Please keep in mind what works for one individual may not work for another, and these are simply tools for you to use to get started.

Calorie counting
Probably the fastest way to start seeing results is to count the amount of calories you're consuming each day and starting limiting your caloric intake. If your goal is to start losing weight I recommend about 1200 calories per day for women, and 1400 per day for men. This can be considered an aggressive goal but you should start to see results if you manage to adhere to these numbers. If you're not seeing results you may need to adjust your diet or exercise routine slightly. Keep in mind that in order to lose 1lb you must burn 3500 more calories than you consu…