5 Tips for Stress-Free Budgeting
Spending less than we make is often a challenge. We know the benefits: it helps prevent debt, we’re able to save for emergencies, and we have more money to put away for retirement. However, spending less can be really difficult to accomplish.
Here are 5 tips for budgeting.
Understand the Goal
The ultimate goal is to help us control our spending. Remember, we are spending less so we can focus our spending on what matters most to us. Whatever budget you create, keep this goal in mind.
Track Spending for a Week
Tracking every dime you spend for a short period of time shows you how spending even small amounts of money adds up over time. Track your spending for, at least, one week to see your spending patterns. This will allow you to see where adjustments need to be made.
Use the 3-Category Budget
Most people don’t need to track every dime they spend. For example, you need gas, so it may not be necessary to track this expense. However, there are categories that most people tend to overspend in like eating out, buying clothes, buying gadgets, and entertainment. From these, pick the three categories you’d like to bring under control, and monitor your spending in these areas. It’s easier to create a budget with this in mind, and it can go a long way in bringing your spending under control.
Use Your Debit Card
Paying with your debit or check card is an easy way to monitor spending. At the end of the month, you’ll have a record of everything you spent money on.
Remember that the goal of budgeting is to spend less than we make. One of the best ways to do this is to save first. Treat saving as a bill. Save first, and then spend the rest.
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