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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.

Save First

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.

woman at computer looking at her finances | tips for budgetingWe provide services to help ensure you are financially strong. Saving you money and giving you access to the best resources available to help meet your financial goals is very important to us. From tips for budgeting to planning for retirement, there’s a financial resolution you can make to get started on the right path. Our Financial Education Center is designed to provide helpful information and advice that is most important to your financial success.