That said, when you take the time to create a budget, it helps you keep your finances in order, by knowing where you stand so that you can achieve your short- and long-term financial goals.

Here are some helpful tips for setting up your budget:

  1. Cut the fat
    it’s important to put money aside for savings, but you don’t want to shortchange your bills and other obligations. The simplest way to do both, is write down all your monthly bills and expenses and see what that total is. Doing this first will allow you to take a look at what is costing you the most money, and often reveals there are some areas where you can save. For example, it may make sense to investigate streaming services over cable, or make changes to your cellular plan, etc. Looking at your expenses may also reveal you have high rate credit cards and other debts that could be refinanced at lower rates and smaller payments.
  2. Look at your budget month to month
    Each month of the year can bring different expenses. Holidays, birthdays, vacations, and so on all factor into your budget and these events happen at different times. Your budget during December may be higher because of the Christmas holiday versus the summer months. Planning your budget month by month, or even looking ahead for the whole year can help keep your financial picture in focus.
  3. Prioritize basic needs
    The most important part of your budget will be the necessities. Your rent or mortgage, utilities, food, and other basic costs of living should be the first thing you place on your budget because there often isn’t much wiggle room when it comes to these expenses.
  4. Give yourself some wiggle room
    Creating a budget is tough, sticking to it can be harder. Unexpected expenses happen to all of us, and we often don’t see them coming. Every month try to have some wiggle room to cover unexpected expenses. If you don’t end up needing that extra money, add it to a savings account.
  5. There are many ways to create a budget. You can find a variety of free, easy to use budgeting tools and apps online so that you can be on your way to creating a personal budget in no time.

    Need a little help to get started on the journey to organizing your finances and debts. Contact us today to learn how NBT may be able to help.