The Basics of Budgeting

April 24th, 2017 | Author:

[W]hether you are just starting out on your own or just starting over, one of the most important things you can do is learn how to budget. Many people think they know how to budget, but they fail to stick with it. So, the goal is to not just create a budget, but to create one that works.

Know the Facts

The first step is to know your financial facts. How much do you earn each month? How much do your essential expenses cost? Essential expenses include things you can’t do without, like utilities. For many, this includes a cell phone plan, but it would not include cable TV or satellite radio. If you have a car payment, it goes in this category as well as rent.

When estimating changing expenses, always go with the highest amount. For example, groceries are an essential expense that many people try to budget too low to be realistic. While you may be able to find ways to save, be honest about how much you will spend. The water bill may fluctuate by a few dollars, so budget the highest it has been.

Know Yourself

Think about other expenses and what you will want to keep. Don’t try to create a budget that is too strict to live with or you are setting yourself up to fail. For example, you may like to go out for coffee every morning on your way to work. If you try to do without that completely in your budget, you are likely to give in and go over your amount allotted for that week. Instead, try to cut back to every other day.

Live within Your Means

This is a tricky one, but an essential rule for living on any budget. Once you know what you have to work with, stick with it. For some who are spending more than they make, they may have to cut back or take on a second or third job. If you’ve set up a realistic budget, you may have to make some sacrifices, but they will be ones you can live with.

Newest Answers

What to Expect with VantageScore 4.0

May 22nd, 2017 | Author:
h

[V]antageScore announced it would have the latest version of its credit scoring model out for use sometime in the fall of 2017. Several updates expect to more accurately measure a person’s credit history. The Credit Balance One of the big changes in how balances on credit accounts will impact a person’s credit rating. Instead of […]

Continue Reading »

What to Consider with Annual Fee Credit Cards

May 19th, 2017 | Author:
h

[M]any credit cards come with an annual fee. In fact, people with bad credit often assume that’s the only kind of card they can qualify for. While it’s true that many cards have the fee, not all do. Before you apply for a card, you should consider the annual fee. Cards for Bad Credit A […]

Continue Reading »

How You Can Pay Off Your Mortgage Sooner

May 15th, 2017 | Author:
h

[T]he secret to financial independence and good credit is having enough money to live on and for emergencies. One way to ensure this is by reducing your debt. The biggest debt for many is with their home. A mortgage not only comes with a higher payment, but it is often set up for 30 years. […]

Continue Reading »

How to Protect Your Credit If You’re a Freelancer

May 3rd, 2017 | Author:
h

[B]ecoming a freelancer where you can work from home is a dream for many. It allows them the flexibility of making their schedule fit their life instead of working 9 to 5 and gives them the freedom to do what they want and be their own boss. However, it can also cost them financially if […]

Continue Reading »

The Basics of Budgeting

April 24th, 2017 | Author:
h

[W]hether you are just starting out on your own or just starting over, one of the most important things you can do is learn how to budget. Many people think they know how to budget, but they fail to stick with it. So, the goal is to not just create a budget, but to create […]

Continue Reading »

Revolving Credit or Installment Loans: Which is Better for Your Credit?

April 21st, 2017 | Author:
h

[I]f you’ve been learning about credit, one of the first things you’ll hear is you can’t get credit if you don’t have credit. It often seems to be a Catch-22; no one will give you credit so you can’t get established with a credit history so you can get new credit. With diligent effort, you […]

Continue Reading »

What to Do When a Landlord or Employer Asks to See Your Credit Report

April 19th, 2017 | Author:
h

[S]ometimes when you are filling out a rental or job application, you’ll come to a page that asks you to sign and authorize a credit check. Most people will sign it, hoping for the best if they have less than perfect credit. Even when you do sign it, you may wonder if that was the […]

Continue Reading »