|Faith and Finances|
Personal Finance Budgeting Tips
• Spend Less than you Make - It sounds easy, but for many people it's harder than it seems. Online money management tools are everywhere, but before you get the tools you have to establish a budget. Track your spending so you understand where you're currently spending money and make changes if you're overspending.
• Reduce Your Debt - Once you have established a budget, work on reducing your debt. Start paying off the debts with the highest interest rate first, regardless of the total balance. Make sure to pay the minimum monthly payments on all of your debt, but try to put a bigger chunk of cash toward the debt you're working to eliminate. Once you've completely paid off one debt, move on to the next. Watch your debt dwindle away.
• Be Prepared for the Unexpected - The number one budget killer is an unanticipated event. If your pet needs emergency vet care or if your car breaks down and you don't have an emergency fund set aside you could completely blow your budget or start racking up your credit cards again. Work on setting aside three to six months worth of your living expenses in an emergency fund. Start small to get used to saving. Set aside $10 a week and bump up the amount you contribute as you feel more comfortable with saving.
• Save for the Future - If you take a "set it & forget it" mentality with your 401K, make actively managing your retirement part of your goal for the New Year. A big part of personal finance budgeting is planning for the future so make sure you increase your 401K contribution by whatever you salary increase is for [the year]. An easy way to do this is by setting your contribution as a percent of your pay rather than an exact dollar amount. This way, any shift in pay will also result in a change in your 401K contribution.
Making personal finance budgeting a priority for the New Year is a resolution that, with a little work, should be easy to stick to. Remember to look for ways to save in every aspect of your life. You'll be pleasantly surprised when the work you've been putting toward your budget starts to pay off. In a few months, it won't even feel like work anymore. Budgeting will become a natural part of your life and you'll be enjoying a better financial future.