Budgets are essential for staying accountable of your financial well-being.  They can help you stop overspending and start saving.  If anything, a budget will show you how you spend your money.  If you have never made a budget before, knowing where to start can be a daunting task.  We have provided a simple outline on how to start your budget!

  • Know how much you make - write down how much you made from every source of income.  Make sure that taxes are deducted!
  • Know what you owe monthly - collect your bank statement, recent utility bills, etc to find out how much on average you spend on bills every month.
  • Create a list for fixed expenses and a list for variable expenses - your fixed list will include things like rent, car payment, utilities, and so on.  Your variable expenses will include things like gas, groceries, entertainment, shopping trips, and other expenses that change monthly.
  • Add everything up - add up your monthly averages of your fixed expenses and your variable expenses.  Hopefully, you have money left over to put into your savings account.  If you are short, it is time to look at where you can cut back.
  • Reflect and Review - at the end of the first couple of months, take a moment to review your budget categories.  How did you do?  Did you go over or were your right on track?  Doing this will help you stay accountable and be able to adjust when needed.
  • Tools to help - there are a ton of resources these days to help you create your budget.  If you use online banking with us you can use the category tab to help you sort out transactions.  It even puts them in a pie chart so you can see how much you are spending in each category.  A super common way to budget is to use an excel spreadsheet.  But now it's 2019 and we have a ton of apps that can help too!  Mint, Fudget, and Spending Tracker are just a few options!

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