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

Why Your Credit Score Matters If You’re a College Student

November 17th, 2017 | Author:
h

[Y]ou don’t have much money and any you do have goes towards paying your college expenses. You may wonder why a credit score even matters at this stage of your life. If you haven’t given it much thought before, you need to become aware of it now. Your Future Depends On It Your credit rating […]

Continue Reading »

What You Should Know about Credit and Car Insurance

November 15th, 2017 | Author:
h

[I]f you have poor credit, you probably know it will impact your ability to get a credit card or loan. However, it can also influence how much you will pay for car insurance. The connection between credit rating and car insurance may seem odd to consumers, but it is an essential combination for insurers. Taking […]

Continue Reading »

What You Need to Know about Disputing Information on Your Credit Report

November 13th, 2017 | Author:
h

[I]f you check your credit reports, there is a good chance that you might find an error. Statistics show that one in five credit reports contain errors. That’s not good news for consumers who rely on credit reports for new credit and loans. However, you can dispute any errors and get them corrected. How to […]

Continue Reading »

What You Must Consider about Consolidating Debt

November 10th, 2017 | Author:
h

[Y]ou have a hard time keeping track of the bills you have to pay. With multiple credit cards and more than one loan, it’s a wonder you keep it all straight. You may wonder if a debt consolidation loan is right for you. Before you go this route and try to find a way to […]

Continue Reading »

Understanding What Charged-off Means

November 8th, 2017 | Author:
h

[I]f you’ve looked at your credit report recently, you may have noticed that an account says Charged Off. You may not be sure what that means for you and for your credit score. It’s an important term you should understand to help you improve your credit score. A creditor will charge off your account if […]

Continue Reading »

Start Saving for the Holidays Now

November 6th, 2017 | Author:
h

[I]n reality, you should have a savings plan all year long for the holiday season. However, it’s never too late to start. Whether you buy gifts for a lot of people, host dinners or just go out and enjoy all of the holiday activities, it usually costs a lot of money during this time of […]

Continue Reading »

How Unemployment Benefits Can Help

November 3rd, 2017 | Author:
h

[W]hile you may be aware of unemployment benefits if you lose your job through no fault of your own, you may not think you qualify or will be able to get them. However, they can be a lifeline until you are back on your feet with a new job. File ASAP Many people don’t get […]

Continue Reading »