Budgeting can be stressful, whether you make a lot of money, or you feel like you’re barely scraping by. As we are about to start a new year, it’s always a good time to reevaluate your financial health.
Here are some basic tips to get you started:
- Be realistic about the “needs” versus the “wants” in your budgeted expenses.
- Underestimate, or guess low for your income.
- Overestimate, or guess high for your expenses.
- Add miscellaneous items into your expenses, and maybe add 5-10% of your current expense total as miscellaneous to cover things that unexpected.
- Include savings in your expenses, whether it’s for a goal or an emergency.
- Keep your bills and receipts in order. This is especially helpful when tax season comes around and you decide you may be able to itemize some of your expenses, especially related to healthcare.
- Review your budget at least quarterly. Are your estimates accurate? Are you on target for meeting your savings goals and/or paying off debt?
- Pay cash for small expenses. You’ll be more conscious of how quickly little items, like a Starbucks coffee or a hamburger from McDonald’s can add up.
Obviously this list is not all encompassing. Do you have any tips you would like to share?