With a new year coming, it is very important to look ahead at not only the resolutions (Top 10 New Years’ Resolutions) we make for our health or otherwise, but also our wallets. One of the best steps anyone can take is to start a budget that is easy to stick with. Here are some tips to start a basic budget for the New Year.
How to start a Budget for the New Year
1. Map out what your monthly pay is. If you don’t have a set budget, look at the average over 6 months. This will give you the best idea on where to start. If you know what your money coming in is, you know what you have to work with and can budget accordingly.
2. Next, look at your expenses. What can you cut and what needs to stay? Knowing where your money is going is essential to creating a budget that works in the new year. Looking at your expenses can also help you decide what may be costing you too much and force you to look for alternatives that may be cheaper.
3. Start tracking your little expenses. This means saving every little receipt you get and at the end of January, taking a good, honest look at what might be eating up your budget. You would be surprised at how much you might actually be spending when you add up how many times you ate out for a quick snack, how many times you went through the coffee drive-through and how many times you bought that small item that you justified because it was “just a couple dollars”. Knowing the big picture for your little spending habits can really be an eye-opener and help you reign it in a bit.
4. Create 3 sections of your budget: Spend, Save, Bills. It is essential that you try to have all three. Don’t think that savings needs to be huge, but you should make it a priority. The key to financial stability is not only making sure you are spending wisely, but also saving wisely as well. And don’t forget about your grocery budget, that’s the easiest ways to cut spending: 5 Sneaky Ways to save even more on your Grocery Budget
5. Commit to some new money habits such as couponing (get basic tips: The Basics of Couponing) , comparing prices and calling around for the best price on items you buy. Now is the time to start new with good habits that will help you control your household spending and make you more comfortable overall. Don’t tell yourself you can’t do it. Many good habits may seem like an inconvenience at first, but seeing all that you will save will be a great motivator to keep it up.
So, let’s get started. Head over to read more budgeting tips, and even using the envelope budgeting method!