3 Quick Tips to Successful Budgeting

3 Quick and Easy Tips to Help You Budget Like a Pro

Like almost everything related to finances, many people think that budgets are bewildering, time-consuming, or too difficult to do alone. If that’s how you feel about budgeting, then you might be doing it wrong.

The truth is that budgeting is a simple and useful tool that anyone — and everyone! — can benefit from. A budget can help you:

  • Implement better money management practices
  • Identify and achieve financial goals
  • Understand what you’re spending money on each month
  • Be more thoughtful and intentional about spending
  • Enjoy a healthy and stable financial situation

But how do you get started?

3 Budgeting Practices to Start Today

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to budgeting — managing income and expenses will look different for everyone. That being said, there are a few common elements to every great budget.

1. Determine where your money goes

When creating a budget, always start with the essentials. That way, even if your income is lower one month or you’re met with an unexpected expense, you can still feel confident that your necessities will be paid for.

Essentials may include:

  • Rent or mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Transportation
  • Groceries
  • Medications or other health needs
  • Savings
  • Credit card payments or other debt

After you’ve figured out your priorities, list out your other expenditures. Have a daily Starbucks habit? Go out to dinner every week? Can’t give up Netflix or your NY Times subscriptions? List them on your budget. Decide how much you can safely spend on all your categories each month — remembering that your expenses should be equal to or less than your income.

2. Make a debt repayment plan

If you have any debt (and, let’s face it, who doesn’t?), then paying it off is one of your top priorities — and your budget can make debt repayment faster and more manageable.

Begin by listing out all your debt, from credit cards to medical bills and everything in between. After doing this, you can determine just how much money you’ll need each month to make your minimum payments. Budget for that — but don’t stop there! Put any extra money you can towards tackling your debts and watch those numbers drop.

3. Avoid credit cards

Speaking of debt, want to know one of the best things you can do for your budget? Kick those credit cards to the curb. Paying exorbitant interest rates and fees makes budgeting difficult, so why do it? Pay for your expenses with debit cards or cash, and if you can’t afford to purchase something without borrowing money for it, it’s time to revisit tip one.

Enhance Your Budget: Advanced Tips for Budgeting Pros

Now that you’ve got a budget set up, don’t just forget about it. Use these tips to ensure that you can get the most out of your monthly budget.

  • Adjust your budget each month.
  • Look for ways to make temporary or long-term budget cuts.
  • Set aside money each month for unexpected expenses.
  • Keep track of your budget (via spreadsheets, apps, or even the old-fashioned way).
  • Make goals and celebrate when you achieve them.
  • Figure out the best budgeting method for you.

Securing Your Financial Wellness

At my investment management firm Delta Capital Management, we understand that when it comes to financial wellness, budgeting is only the start. If you’re ready to take the next step on your financial journey, reach out today to learn more about investment options that can help secure your financial well-being.

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Sean Casterline

Sean Casterline

Wealth Manager at Delta Capital Management located in Maitland, Fl.