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Budgeting Tactics to Help You Stay on Track
Staying on budget isn’t easy. But, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
If it’s time for you to adopt some new budget strategies to save money, here are some tips to help you:
- Calculate your monthly income. It’s key to your budget, as well as calculating other financial ratios like your debt-to-income and personal savings rate.
- Pay yourself first. Ideally, you should try to save at least 10% of your monthly take-home pay.
- Set bills up on auto pay. Make good use of your online and mobile banking tools and set up your monthly bills on an automatic payment schedule. Take a good look at due dates and your pay periods so that payments disburse automatically at the right time. This will ensure you space your bills out strategically around your paychecks, avoiding cash flow problems.
- Find one unnecessary expense to cut. Discretionary expenses are the “wants” in your budget that you buy regularly but you don’t really need. Find one unnecessary expense—like the gym membership you rarely use—and cut it to increase your cash flow.
- Set spending targets for three non-bill expenses. Review your transactions over the past couple of months to see how much you spent on food, gas, and entertainment. Then set reasonable limits in each category to prevent overspending.
- Find one spending leak to close. Spending leaks occur when you’re spending more money than you need to on a necessary expense. For instance, dining out too frequently increases your food budget. Identify one leak and close it to increase your cash flow.
- Set up savings for one major purchase you want in the next year. Instead of using a credit card or relying on in-store financing options, allocate some of your monthly savings toward this goal. Reward yourself by making that purchase in cash once you have the funds available.
Information compiled from resources provided by Knowledge of Financial Education (KOFE).