Sometimes, the easiest part of budgeting is realizing you need to do it. Everything after that first moment of actualization can seem like an insurmountable challenge, especially if you’ve never tackled a household budget on your own. When you’d much rather be settling into the next episode of The Young Pope, getting to the nitty gritty accounting behind your financial plan can be difficult. But it’s not impossible. You can get started on the right foot by using the following tips and tricks as your guide.
Track Down Every Dollar Coming & Going from Your Hands after Taxes
When you’d rather be doing anything but reviewing your personal finances, it’s easy to cut some corners. Rather than tallying their income properly, many people end up plugging in their gross annual salary before taxes and other deductions are taken out of their pay. This habit will impede your budget’s ability to plan for the future. When you use this number, you’re operating as if you’re making more money than you do, which can lead to making more purchases than you can comfortably support. With tax time on its way, you should be able to figure out what your net pay is quite easily. Use that figure to determine your income.
You should also apply the same care to tallying your expenses. While it’s easy to list regular costs, like rent or mortgage payments, groceries, car payments, and utilities, you should include all of the purchases you’re likely to make, even if they’re irregular. Taking the time to look through your financial statements can help you keep tabs on different categories of spending. It can also highlight where you’re spending your money in unnecessary ways.
Be Prepared for the Unexpected
The purpose of a budget is to help you prime you bank account for likely purchases you’ll have to make, but sometimes you aren’t able to anticipate the exact demands on your money. Sometimes a bill, repair, or household purchase will completely blindside you and your budget. If you haven’t developed a lot of savings to cover these emergencies, a cash advance can help you pay for your new responsibilities.
Lenders of these cash advances like the financiers at GoDay start their payday loans at $100 for first time borrowers, making them ideal for small, non-recurring purchases and expenses. If you’re ever unclear about the purpose of these cash advances, you can always contact their loan specialists using the information found on Goday.ca/locations-services. With their help, you can determine whether or not this financial product is for you.
Keep Yourself Accountable
Let’s face it — it’s far too tempting to making a budget only to never look at it again. It doesn’t help if you drafted it on a scrap piece of paper easily lost or if you saved it under an obscure file name on your laptop.
If you expect your budget to actually help you save money, you’re going to have to follow it every day. If you find it hard to say no to takeout, late-night drinks with friends, or your next iTunes purchase, enlist your friends and family to help. Once they know you’re trying to save, they’ll know better than to tempt you with expensive outings. They might just join in on your frugal ways. You can also tap into a long list of financial apps that can help you keep track and manage your finances day to day.
It might not be your favourite way to spend your spare time, but making and following a budget is an essential step towards financial security. Take the time to follow the above advice. Use detailed numbers in your budget, find responsible ways to fill its holes, and keep yourself accountable. These tips can go a long way to the success of your financial plan.