Do you find yourself thinking at the end of each month, “I earn a decent salary, where does it all go?” A personalized budget can provide a clear picture of the money you earn and spend. It will also help you target effective ways to save money, and help secure your financial future. A budget is essential for successful debt management, credit counselors say. Checking the numbers regularly helps keep you focused on paying off bills. It is rewarding to see debt drop each month, knowing that a realistic budget is helping you reach your financial goals.
To make and maintain your individualized budget, My Credit My Future experts recommend these six simple steps:
- Record income. List everything you expect to earn in the coming year. This should include salary, raises and any tax refunds.
- Identify expenses. Don’t minimize or exaggerate your monthly household costs. Make sure to include hobbies, dining out and salon services.
- Pay yourself first. Every budget should include monthly savings, no matter how small. Credit counseling specialists say that the habit is more important than the amount. Small savings grow quickly.
- Track results. Check in regularly with your budget, at least monthly. When you see how quickly you are moving toward your long-term goals, you will realize how helpful a budget can be.
- Adjust As you go. Fitting expenses into your income usually requires some tweaking. If you need help fine-tuning those expenses, consider consulting with a nonprofit credit counseling agency. After a confidential consultation, your credit counselor will create an individualized and thorough budget to help you reach your long-term financial goals.
- Banish debt. If the bulk of your monthly income currently pays off debt, work on getting rid of that debt! A solid financial future depends on it. A credit counseling agency can talk with you about a debt management plan. The debt management plan will help consolidate your debts, and can structure more reasonable monthly payments, enabling you to pay down debt as quickly as possible.
The main thing is to keep your budget current with your changing needs and circumstances. Check out this easy budget calculator http://www.mcmf.net/MCMF_FinWS_ReworkBudgetCalc.html that will help you rework your budget and keep it working for you!