Have you ever wondered where did the money go? Most of us have or are still going through that dilemma and maybe it is simply a matter of us, not budgeting.
A budget is an outline of income and expenditure for a set period which can serve as a financial plan and should be re-evaluated periodically. No matter your financial position, a budget can always serve some purpose.
By going through this process, it puts things in perspective with a bit more clarity than you may have had before. It helps identify where and how your hard-earned money is being spent. It can also highlight the possibilities available to you, identify and warn of potential financial problems, outline whether you can take on additional debt or whether you can maximize your savings.
By planning and knowing your current financial position, the budget helps to keep individuals focused and making informed and intentional decisions for their spending. For those with families or in relationships, this may also help facilitate those daunting financial talks by simplifying things into basic figures and presenting a visual aid.
Here are a few tips for helping you along the way:
Start with the most important expenses, those staples in your life, and no I do not mean the coffee. The basic amenities, Shelter, Food, Transport, and Utilities should be set out. Save those receipts! Check your receipt for the last couple of months to get a better idea of how much you are spending and incorporate those expenses into the budget. Remember, you may have to revisit these to begin to reduce some of the amounts if your budget is in the red.
Continue to think about all other expenses you may have missed and remember, when budgeting you may want to establish separate savings funds for major expenses that you know are coming throughout the year. For example, the upcoming insurance payment, car maintenance, or back to school shopping may be tough to tackle with one month’s budget, therefore, have a separate fund from your regular savings to address these incoming expenses to make them more manageable. Record your spending, still keep those receipts, and track your progress. Reevaluate and be realistic.
Let your savings account be that a savings account and keep a checking account for expenses outlined in your budget.
Budget in the Red
Reduce Expenses and Eliminate Unnecessary Expenses
In the United States, the 21st of March 2020 marks National Credit Card Reduction Day. This is a day established to promote the assessment of one’s level of indebtedness due to credit card use and the strategies to reduce or eliminate such indebtedness. While statistics show that Americans’ credit card debt totalled $930 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019, we know that credit card debt and the concerns regarding such isn’t simply an American thing. Therefore, in recognition of this day, here are some tips that you can employ to reduced or avoid credit card debt, a negative credit report and ultimately MAKE CREDIT WORK FOR YOU!
1. Yes, you may have a credit limit, but remember your real limit which is the amount of money you would be able to repay at the end of the month or on your credit card due date. Evaluate your finances and always remember that after you swipe the card, you still have to find the money to repay the card so budget, budget, budget. 2. Be organized! Have your credit card bills available, go through your transactions, check your balance every two weeks so you don’t lose track and compare with your savings or budget, set alerts for your payment due dates. 3. The only automatic set up should be the automatic deductions for the repayment of the credit card to avoid late payments and interest. You should always try to clear off the total balance at the end of each cycle or pay double the monthly minimum payment. If these steps may be too challenging, set up the deductions for at least the minimum payment. Beware of automatic charges by merchants, iTunes, Netflix etc. Avoid saving your credit card information on such accounts or erase and delete if you have already done so. Close the subscription accounts that you do not need. 4. If a lump sum payment at the end of the month is daunting, try making smaller payments more frequently. This will be reducing the amount the interest is being calculated on. 5. Don’t be afraid to ask your financial institution to freeze your credit, seek help or negotiate.