Putting a budget in place at the beginning of the year makes managing your finances less stressful. It allows you to look at your expenses and make adjustments when needed as the year goes on. Start your year out on the right foot with these budgeting tips for the New Year:
- Create a spreadsheet—List out all of your fixed monthly expenses (i.e.: mortgage/rent, car payment, etc.). For items that fluctuate, take the average amount you spend in a year... Here's a tip: Look back through your checking account history from the previous year or the last 6 months to get the average on items that change from month to month. Include miscellaneous expenses that may come up from time to time... You can use CB&S Bank's Internet Banking feature to help you review your account history. Also, don't forget to add a line for savings. At the bottom of your total, add a place for your monthly take-home pay and a line for money left after expenses. Once you see how much is left over put a reasonable amount in the savings line.
- Open a savings account—Try to deposit a set amount each month or even set up a recurring direct deposit from your checking to your savings. You can even set up automatic transfers from your CB&S Bank Checking Account to your CB&S Bank Savings Account.
- Know your goal—What is it that you want to accomplish by setting a budget for yourself? Identifying your end goal is a great way to determine how much you will need to cut back on your spending and to also motivate yourself to stay on track with your new budget.
- Check out the 50/20/30 plan—The 50/20/30 plan basically states that you budget 50% of your income to your necessities, 20% of your income to your long-term savings, and 30% of your income to your various lifestyle choices... This is a simple budget formula that makes budgeting easy and painless.
- Try to budget every dollar—Budget down to your very last dollar. If you don't know exactly where each dollar is going it is easier for you to spend it on items that you don't really need.
- Make changes to your budget as needed—It is a good idea to revisit and re-evaluate your budget monthly—as certain situations change (i.e.: rent, gas costs, etc.) your budget may need to, as well.